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 – “The Summer of 96” – Part One – WWF King of the Ring

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Over the next three weeks all the reviews are going to have a theme, in that all of the events I will be reviewing will have all taken part in the summer of 1996. We’ll be journeying to the WWF, stopping off in WCW and then finishing our trip by paying a visit to ECW.

This week we’re starting off with the WWF and their King of the Ring event from June 1996. I went with KOTR over the other two pay per view events the WWF put on that summer because it’s probably the overall best of the three and we also get to see Stone Cold Steve Austin taking a step to becoming the biggest star in the entire industry, which should give us an interesting angle to view the show from if nothing else.

I’ll be watching the Silver Vision Tagged Classics version of the show over the WWE Network cut, mainly because I think the Silver Vision version doesn’t dub out “Don’t Go Messin’ Wit A Country Boy”, and if I’m going to suffer through a Godwinn’s match then I at least want to enjoy the only part of their act that I actually liked.

This show was originally supposed to be a real coming out party for Triple H, as he’d win the tournament and no doubt go on to get a sizeable push for the rest of the summer as a result. However, The Curtain Call incident at MSG put a stop to that, as Triple H was the only one of the four that Vince McMahon could actually punish for it, so poor Tri saw his reign as King snuffed out before it could even start. And thus, the wrestling world never heard of Triple H ever again…

Aside from the tournament itself, we’ve got a wacky storyline in the Main Event where Davey Boy Smith’s is challenging Shawn Michaels, Goldust is defending the IC Title against an enraged Ahmed Johnson and Mankind is having his first ever pay per view encounter with The Undertaker. So yeah, there’s a lot on the docket, so let’s stop chatting wham and watch some chuffing wrestling!

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