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!