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 Uncensored 1996 (24/03/1996)

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Andy PG suggested this one, describing the Main Event as “the Cage Match from Heck” (I may have cleaned that up a little bit). I have actually seen this show before, but it’s been a while since I watched it and I was intrigued to give it another look.

This is showing up on a Monday instead of the usual Saturday slot as I had a G1 review to post on Saturday and Rick had one up on Sunday, so I decided to post this up on Monday so as to not over-saturate the place with too much of my stuff and to also try and not step on Rick’s toes too much. Feel free to check mine and Rick’s archives if you want to catch yourself up on the G1 action.

For those not au fait, these reviews are essentially me trying my own hand at what the fine folk at Wrestle Crap do, where I watch a show that is widely considered to be awful in a quest to see whether it deserves it’s stinky reputation or not.

This show took part in a strange little era for WCW, as Nitro had started in the autumn of 1995 but they hadn’t yet brought Kevin Nash and Scott Hall over from the WWF to give the company the big shot in the arm it needed. As a result they were still mostly doing the same old “Hulk Hogan Vs a group of cartoonish heels” routine that had been going on in some form since the 80’s.

Wrestlers like Eddie Guerrero and Dean Malenko had started making their way into the mid-card at this point, which usually meant you were likely to have a good match or two on these shows, whilst Ric Flair and Randy Savage were going for a more realistic storyline of Flair nicking Randy’s ex-wife and then spending all her alimony to get the Macho Man all good and agitated.

As a result the company had a kind of confused feel to it, with the gimmicky Hogan stuff feeling kind of out of place when contrasted with the more serious wrestling going on elsewhere on the card. This imbalance would eventually be addressed when the New World Order showed up later in the year, as it made the Main Event scene serious again and not just a parade of wacky gimmick bouts with outlandish Saturday Morning Cartoon villains trying to take down Hulkamania.

The big angle for this show was that Kevin Sullivan and his Dungeon of Doom had teamed up with Ric Flair and his Horsemen stable in an effort to finally kill off Hulkamania once and for all, leading to a ludicrous 8 on 2 Main Event where the two groups aligned to take on Hogan and Savage in a three tier cage match. Oh yes, you might want to attach a nose peg, because it’s likely that things are going to get stinky!

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