July PPV Countdown: WCW Beach Blast 1993

The Netcop Retro Rant for WCW Beach Blast 93 (2012 Scott sez:  Apologies in advance. This one is another terribly written rant when really the show deserves much more care and attention in terms of ripping it apart.)  – Live from Biloxi, Mississippi – Your hosts are Tony Schiavone & Jesse Ventura – Worth nothing: The pre-game show features the infamous “Masters of the Powerbomb v. Superpowers” mini-movie in its entirety. If you don’t know what this was, you don’t want to, believe me. (As featured on Are You Serious!)  Opening match: TV Title: Paul Orndorff v. Ron Simmons. I think I was off making dinner for myself when this was on, but Zenon tells me it was pretty crappy. Simmons is DQ’d for throwing Orndorff over the top rope.  (Quality wrestling reviewing in 1997, ladies and gentlemen!)  – Okay, now I’m back… – Marcus Bagwell & 2 Cold Scorpio v. Tex Slazenger & Shanghai Pierce. As always, I remind you that the Texicans migrated north to Arkansas and became the Godwinns. Tons of stalling. Not much resting, surprisingly enough, just nothing the least bit fancy. Your typical “establishing” match to build heat for Bags and Scorps. It saddens me greatly that if Buff’s career is over, then this is his legacy.  (Actually that would put this into 1998 if we thought Buff’s career might be over.) Jesse makes lawyer jokes to kill time (What do you call 400 dead lawyers at the bottom of a river? A good start. What do you call a busload of lawyers with one empty seat going off the edge of a cliff? A tragedy.) (Jesse learned to love the legal system a bit more once he took Vince to the cleaners over royalties, I’m thinking.)  Bagwell makes the hot tag and they finish off the Texicans with a belly-to-back suplex leading into the Firebird/450 splash from Scorpio. Not bad. **1/4 Worldwide hit type of affair. – Paul Orndorff introduces us to the Equalizer. Thanks, man. – Erik Watts v. Lord Steven Regal. Those of you who are newer fans might recognize Watts as Troy of Techno Team 2000. (Those of you who are now newer fans probably read that last sentence like Lisa reading “Yahoo Serious Festival”) Those of who were on the ‘net back then recognize him as “that fucking little talentless bastard of Bill Watts.” (In all fairness, I’m pretty sure he is the legitimate son of Bill Watts, not a bastard.)  Either way, it’s valid. Watts got a mega-push based solely on the fact that daddy was Executive Vice-President of WCW at the time, despite showing no talent or over-ness with the fans. Watts knows amateur wrestling, so we get a boring mat wrestling match. And I do mean *boring*. Watts can’t do *anything* even vaguely aerial, and he has the muscle tone of Jimmy Hart with a gawky figure to boot. He belonged in the undercard of an indy promotion at that point, not on PPV against a legitimate wrestler like Steve Regal. Watts goes for the dreaded STF early, and Dundee pops him with the umbrella and Regal rolls him up for the pin. He should’ve won clean, but what the hell. *1/2 (Now of course Watts would get buried in developmental hell as wannabe movie star Lucas McQueen until he quit the business out of frustration.  So maybe their system DOES have an upside.)  – Jesse interviews His Lordship. – Maxx Payne v. Johnny B. Badd. Ahem. This is the result of Payne blasting a lethal dose of…er…confetti in Badd’s face with the Badd-blaster. Badd’s visage was so scarred by this that he had to wear an exceptionally gay looking mask to cover himself. Geez, Mark, I would’ve went with the scars and taken my chances…oh well, at any rate it boggles my mind that they used to *pay* people to think this stuff up.  (In all fairness, they didn’t get paid very WELL.)  Payne is no longer playing the psycho, but rather just your average embittered guitar player. (And boy did he EVER get embittered in real life later on.  Daryl Peterson did a documentary on his own years ago, where he took his own footage from his brief WWF time and basically exposed the entire locker room as a bunch of drug addicts and general scumbags.  I think the movie was called “The Thing That Should Not Be” or something and lawsuits were of course filed over it.)  And WCW wonders why they were only drawing 500 people per show at this time? Punch and kick match that ends with a Badd bodypress (in both senses of the word) off the second rope for the pin. 1/2* – WCW World tag title: The Hollywood Blonds v. Arn Anderson & Paul Roma. The Blonds are using the NWA tag belts here, because the WCW and NWA versions were interchangeable until September when the NWA officially died. Austin & Pillman are hilarious as they antagonize the fans and play awesome heels. As usual with all things Roma after 1990, it stinks when he’s directly involved. I think the man was born without a personality. Roma plays Face In Peril as Pillman wrestles with a wedgie. Crack kills, Brian. Hot tag to Anderson, who assume the Face In Peril role and the match really takes off until the end. Anderson gets the hot tag to Roma again, who’s the House O’ Fire. Spinebuster by Arn, and it’s not looking good for the Greatest Team Ever. Only a two count, however. Arn is escorted out and Roma rolls up Austin, but Pillman pushes them over and…Blonds win??? *** – Why the question marks? Because in 1993, WCW taped extensive footage of Roma and Anderson being the tag champs around this time, so RSPW just naturally assumed that Beach Blast would be the card where they took the titles. When it wasn’t, it produced one of the biggest collective “What the hell?” reactions ever heard on the newsgroup. The ending is assumed to have been changed to “swerve” us, which would be the first example of Mr. Bischoff doing so in a long line of examples of it. Roma and Anderson went on to win the titles at the following Clash, but WCW’s cutesy booking shot itself in the foot, because Brian Pillman was injured and had to be subbed for by Steve Regal, which produced the ridiculous situation of Regal and Austin defending the tag titles! (In the post-Russo era, this stuff all just looks normal somehow.  Oh yeah, two people who aren’t the champions defending the belts, whatever.)  – US Title match, Ironman challenge: Dustin Rhodes v. Rick Rude. Most falls in 30 minutes wins. This was a horrible feud as Rhodes was pushed to US title status on the strength of nothing but his father’s position as Executive Producer (ie booker) of WCW. The US title was held up for months as these two battled in boring matches over the belt, and the title was devalued immensely because of it.  (Not as much as Santino has devalued it.)  It never really recovered, IMO. Rude wins the first fall, Rhodes wins the second. The rest is utterly slow and boring until the big finish where Rhodes hits all of his stuff and Rude keeps kicking out. Time expires, so it’s a screwjob ending on top of everything else and the belt is vacant another couple of months. *1/2 This is why overtime in the Michaels-Hart match at WM12 was a *good thing* (I…wouldn’t go that far.)  – NWA World title match: Barry Windham v. Ric Flair. An okay match, which is basically Flair’s big return. Everyone knew Flair was going over here (again, footage of Flair as champion was taped for this time period at the Disney tapings, and WCW wasn’t about to pull another swerve). Bizarre ending as Flair quickly hooks the figure-four on Windham, who grabs for the ropes and ends up getting counted down for three! Que? The crowd doesn’t even realize Flair has won the title until the ref breaks the hold and raises his hand! **1/2 I still don’t get that ending… (Clearly I was getting bored with recapping this show at this point.)  – Main event: Vader & Sid v. Sting & Bulldog. Oh, yeah, after seeing Cheetum the Evil Midget blow up Sting’s boat, I’m pumped for this! (At least Cheetum wasn’t revealed as the anonymous GM two years after the fact.)  Sting and Bulldog have matching coats. Minimalist power stuff here, then stalling from the heels to start. Really bad match. Bulldog hot tag Sting, who takes on both guys but gets nailed by a Sid clothesline after an apparent brain cramp (gee, should I stay in *my* half of the ring or go antagonize Sid?). He becomes Face in Peril. Quick hot tag to Bulldog, who gets stomped by the heels again. Heh. Vader was drawing some serious face heat by this time. Vader pump splashes Bulldog, then debuts the Vadersault! Sting barely makes the save, then Bulldog pulls a crucifix out of nowhere for the pin. Boo! **, mostly for Vader’s work. That moonsault spot really should have ended it. How can you top it? The Bottom Line: Not terrible, but nothing actually worth going out of your way to see. The Disney tapings really fucked with WCW’s booking and it shows with cheap swerves like the tag title match and non-suspense in the Flair-Windham match. Recommendation to avoid Blash Blast ’93. (Also recommendation to avoid reading this rant again.)