Mike Reviews – “The Summer of 96” – Part Two – WCW Bash at the Beach 1996

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The Summer of 96 reviews continue, as we look at WCW’s most memorable effort of that Summer in the form of Bash at the Beach 1996. If I were Scott I’d now make a joke that the show was so memorable because it had Joe Gomez on it, but sadly Scott has beaten me to that veritable goldmine so I’ll have to just persevere with posting obscure references to British comedy shows.

Anyway, the real reason this show is so well known is because it featured a gigantic SWERVE in the Main Event that helped turn WCW around from being in a distant second place to the WWF all the way to being the top dog in American Wrestling.

Kevin Nash and Scott Hall decided to leave the WWF and take up Eric Bischoff’s offer of some cushy WCW deals. Rather than just bring them in like they were new guys though, Bischoff instead decided that no one would buy that because Nash and Hall had been such prominent members of the WWF’s upper-card for the past couple of years.

Thus, rather than ignoring all of that WWF backstory, WCW decided to just acknowledge that these two guys were big stars in the WWF and now they’d come to WCW to try and have their run of the place. This allowed WCW to present Nash and Hall almost as an invading force, which combined with the fact they started kicking some monumental arse got them instantly over as a dangerous Heel threat.

Bash at the Beach was to be their first official in-ring match in WCW since returning, and they had an ace up their sleeve in the form of a mystery third man that they promised they would reveal at the show itself. As a result of the (frankly excellent) storytelling going on each week on Nitro, WCW had a lot of interest going into The Bash. The question was, would they deliver a mystery third man worth talking about?

Let’s watch on and find out!

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Mike Reviews Shows Considered To Be Stinkers – WCW Bash At The Beach 1999 (11/07/1999)

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Back with another reader request this time, courtesy of Sean Mooney, as we dive into the deep toxic waters of World Championship Wrestling as it sunk to its eventual doom. 1998 was when the company initially hit the iceberg but they still did great business that year and it wasn’t until 1999 reared its ugly head that it became clear just how waterlogged the company was getting.

The WWF was not only still top of the American Pro Wrestling food chain in the summer of 1999, but they’d also turned The Rock babyface to gigantic financial returns and were in the midst of preparing the likes of Triple H and Test for elevation up the card (It worked out better for one of those two obviously). They were also in the midst of finally taking the spotlight off the Stone Cold Vs Vince McMahon feud for a bit with Vince set to take a few months off TV, thus keeping things fresh atop the card.

By comparison, WCW was so stale that even most ducks wouldn’t touch it if you took it down the local pond. The New World Order storyline had long since run its course and basically didn’t even really exist anymore outside of a few low ranking guys like Vincent and Horace. The Main Event scene was being built around the usual collection of veterans, Diamond Dallas Page was terrorising the mid-card with his Jersey Triad stable and Ric Flair and Roddy Piper were trying to turn the clock back to the mid-80’s so that they could be conniving villainous heels again, when all the crowd wanted to do was cheer them.

Some efforts were being made to push the likes of Buff Bagwell, Chris Benoit and Perry Saturn, but outside of Flair and Piper none of the top guys were willing to put those guys over, and there were only so many jobs Flair could do for guys like that until it started to really lose its effectiveness. Randy Savage had returned and had actually gotten kind of over as a rebellious babyface, so WCW of course promptly turned him heel so that he could feud with Kevin Nash over the World Title, and even decided to punish the fan base even further by bringing Sid Vicious back to the promotion.

The main feuds coming into this show were DDP and The Triad/Benoit and Saturn, Piper and Flair/Bagwell, Savage/Nash and The West Texas Rednecks/Filthy Animals. There were at least some good matches going on in places, but in most cases the wrong people were going over and the face/heel alignments were all out of whack. For instance, The Rednecks were massively outnumbered and were a funny entertaining act whilst The Animals were insufferable jerks who often abused their numbers advantage, yet The Animals were the ones supposed to be the faces!

All in all the company was on its arse and things eventually got so bad that WCW decided to roll the dice on Vince Russo and Ed Ferrara in the hopes that they could turn it around, which had inevitable results.

However, with that all being said, is Bash At The Beach 1999 really that awful? Maybe in a bubble the show has enough good stuff on it that it’s actually enjoyable? I remember I actually had the VHS for this show back in the day as it was one of the few shows from 99 that WCW actually gave a proper home video release here in the UK, so I’ve probably seen it more than most. Will a tinge of nostalgia help me overcome the worse elements of the show?

There’s still time by the way to put in suggestions for what May’s Stinker Review is going to be. I’ll recap what we currently have in the hat at the end of the this review, so shout up in the comments section if you’d like to add a suggestion of your own. April’s Stinker review will be one of my choosing and I’ll announce what May’s is going to be at the end of that review.

Is this show really a stinker? Let’s watch on and find out!

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Mike Reviews Every WCW Beach Blast and Bash at the Beach Main Event

(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)

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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!

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Bash at the Beach 2000

Bash at the Beach 2000
Date: July 9, 2000
Location: Ocean Center, Daytona Beach, Florida
Attendance: 6,572
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Scott Hudson, Mark Madden

Oh boy. After all those nice weeks of no Russo and/or Bischoff to screw things up, tonight we’re back to the old ways because this wrestling and storytelling stuff must be stopped at all costs. It’s a double main event of Goldberg vs. Kevin Nash for Scott Hall’s contract and Hulk Hogan challenging Jeff Jarrett for the World Title. Let’s get to it.

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