A Collective Review of WCW Bash at the Beach 1996 by Lance Augustine (The NWO Begins!)
Welcome back into the TJRwrestling retro reviews where we have been reviewing every WCW Pay-Per-View during the “Monday Night Wars”. I just got done covering WCW Great American Bash 1996, which was a standout show all around. It also featured, for the first time, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash in prominent roles in the company. Hall hit Eric Bischoff and Nash powerbombed him through a table, and it all leads up to this PPV, WCW Bash at the Beach 1996. For those who don’t know, this was a landmark show that changed the course of pro wrestling and propelled WCW to become neck and neck with the WWF and lead to the two companies going back and forth for the next 4+ years. You can check out that show along with all the other WCW Pay-Per-Views covered on the site here. You will also find in the archives that our very own John Canton covered this show as well. Does this show live up to the one that preceded it? Let’s find out!
WCW Bash at the Beach
July 7th, 1996
Daytona Beach, Florida
The show begins with clips of what has happened leading up to this event, including showing Hall and Nash attacking Bischoff again. The announcers for the evening are Tony Schiavone, “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, who makes his return after missing last month. They go down to the ring for the first match of the night.
Psychosis vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.
Mike Tenay is joining the booth as he did every time there was a match featuring international wrestlers.
Psychosis starts the match off by slapping Mysterio in the face. Mysterio comes back with an arm drag that sends Psychosis out of the ring. He wrestles him down to the mat and puts Psychosis in a single leg crab. Psychosis reverses course and puts Mysterio in a surfboard submission. Both men go back and forth with submissions and reversals. They get back to their feet and have some athletic spots but Psychosis gets the advantage with a spin kick. Mysterio slides to the outside but Psychosis is right behind him and takes him out with a suicide dive. He rolls Mysterio back in the ring and hits a scoop slam followed by a leg drop. Psychosis locks him in a sleeper hold before climbing up top and hitting a Guillotine Leg Drop. He covers Mysterio for a two count. Mysterio’s head is draped on the bottom rope, and Psychosis hits him with another leg drop. He hits a running clothesline and covers Mysterio for another two count. Mysterio gets back to his feet but is taken out quickly. Psychosis tries to hit some offense on the apron, but Mysterio catapults him into the ring post. Mysterio follows that up with a Hurricanrana off the apron. Back in the ring, Mysterio comes off the rope and hits another Hurricanrana and hooks the legs for two. He stomps on the knee of Psychosis and hits a dropkick in the corner. Psychosis comes back with a drop toe hold and wraps his legs around the head of Mysterio. Mysterio comes off the ropes, but Psychosis tosses him across the ring and he hits the ropes hard. Mysterio rolls out of the ring and Psychosis drops him throat-first on the guardrail. Psychosis climbs up to the top rope and hits a senton to the outside. Damn! What a move. Psychosis hits an Enziguri and covers him for a two count. Mysterio fights his way back to his feet and hits a headscissors that sends Psychosis to the outside. Psychosis stands on the apron and Mysterio hits another Hurricanrana to the floor. The crowd is loving this match. He rolls him back in the ring and hits a springboard Moonsault but only gets a two count. Mysterio hits a series of dropkicks that sends Psychosis to the outside. Mysterio comes off the second rope and hits an Asai Senton. Mysterio goes for another Hurricanrana in the ring, but Psychosis catches him and puts him down with a powerbomb. He throws Mysterio into the corner, and both men climb to the top. Psychosis tries to hit the Splash Mountain, but Mysterio reverses it into a beautiful Hurricanrana. Mysterio quickly covers him and picks up the win after 15:18.
Winner: Rey Mysterio
Match Rating: 4.25/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: That was a fast-paced, back and forth affair. Both men had ample time to shine and this was one of the best showcases of what the cruiserweights could do with the company. This started a chain of matches in the division which stood up as some of the best matches on any show they were on. Mysterio was so crisp and fluid at this time even with being so young. Psychosis was the bigger man of the two but really had some great spots in here as well. There is a reason that Mysterio is considered to be one of the all-time greats. What a way to start the show.
Post-Match, Mysterio celebrates in the ring and the crowd is super into it as they go to the replays of the match.
Mean Gene is backstage with the WCW United States Champion Konnan. Gene asks Konnan about the match they just saw and Konnan breaks down the moves in the final sequence. Gene asks him about his upcoming match tonight against “Nature Boy” Ric Flair. Konnan says Flair has a reason to be confident because he is a 13-time World Champion. Konnan says that anyone who gets in his way will be taken out and he will be leaving with his title.
Carson City Silver Dollar Match
Big Bubba (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. John Tenta
These two men had a match last month which Tenta won and subsequently shaved some hair off of Rogers. The person who climbs the pole and grabs the sack of silver dollars can then use them in this match.
Tenta storms the ring as Bubba slides out to avoid him. Bubba gets in the ring and both men exchange blows before he slides to the outside again. He gets back in and tries to gain the advantage, but Tenta takes him out in the corner. Tenta eyes the silver dollars, but Bubba comes up behind him and knocks him to the mat. He tries to climb the pole but Tenta throws him off. Tenta tries to go back up but Bubba takes him out with a back suplex. Tenta crotches him on the top rope before he tosses him out of the ring. Hart checks on Bubba while Tenta tries to climb up before he realizes he has to bring the pole down. Hart hands Bubba a belt and he comes in and attacks Tenta with it. He chokes him with the belt and hits a few shots to the head. Bubba grabs some tape and secures Tenta’s arms to the ropes. Tenta breaks free but Bubba punches him in the head and starts whipping him with the belt. Hart hands Bubba a pair of scissors and he tries to cut more of Tenta’s hair, but Tenta hits him with a low blow. He grabs the scissors and starts cutting the tape holding up the post before Bubba comes up behind him to take him out. Bubba hits a spinebuster and he tells Hart to climb the pole and get the sack of coins. He gets to the top of the pole and grabs the sack as Tenta hits Bubba with a Powerslam. He grabs the coins off of Hart and he hits Bubba with them. He covers him to pick up the win after 9:14.
Winner: John Tenta
Match Rating: 1.25/5 stars
Collective Thoughts: There wasn’t much to the match as the focus was entirely on getting the silver dollars. These two had been feeding the last couple of months, with both men picking up wins at different times. Tenta was formally in the Dungeon of Doom but was on the outs of the group by this time. Jimmy Hart did his usual stuff and was actually one of the more entertaining parts of the match. It was slow and brooding but the crowd popped big when Tenta picked up the win.
Gene is backstage with Team WCW for the main event tonight, which consists of “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Lex Luger, and Sting. Gene asks Savage who the third man is going to be and he says he doesn’t matter that they aren’t scared. Luger says these guys came to WCW uninvited and have been talking non-stop trash. Luger asks Sting if he is ready and he says that he loves the fact that tonight is unknown. Sting says they are fired up and ready to represent WCW tonight.
Taped Fist Match
Diamond Dallas Page vs. “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan
Duggan leads the crowd in an early USA chant. They lock up and Page gets Duggan in a headlock, but he fights out and sends Page to the outside. Page gets up on the apron and pulls Duggan down on the top rope. He wraps his legs around the post and tapes them together, but the referee sets him free. He hits Page with a series of right hands and sends him to the outside. He throws Page into the guardrail, and suplexes Page into the ring. He attempts another suplex but Page grabs the ropes and takes him down with a shoulder breaker. Page hits some boots and starts to choke Duggan on the second rope. Page climbs to the top rope, but Duggan knocks him off by hitting the top rope. He sends Page’s head into the corner for a ten count and clotheslines Page back to the outside. He takes the fight to Page before sending him back into the ring. Duggan tries to climb in, but Page kicks the bottom rope which dazes Duggan. Page hits a Diamond Cutter as he gets back up and picks up the win in 5:39.
Winner: Diamond Dallas Page
Match Rating: 2/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: Duggan was on offense for most of the match, but the ending was predictable. Page was at the beginning as his ascension in the company, and they had him picking up wins left and right. Duggan has always been fun and the crowd was into this match as well, especially when Duggan led them in USA chants. The match wasn’t boring, but didn’t do a whole lot for either guy,
After the match, Duggan retapes his fist and knocks Page out.
Gene is backstage with Jimmy Hart, Kevin Sullivan, and the WCW Heavyweight Champion The Giant. Sullivan says that he will take out all of the members of The Horsemen if they get in his way tonight. He says The Giant will tell them what Sullivan is all about. The Giant says that he is the champion and that he has great respect for Sullivan. He is the elite and is still the WCW Heavyweight Champion.
Lee Marshall is in the aisle with Arn Anderson and Chris Benoit. He asks Anderson about how he feels about one of the Horsemen getting a shot at the Heavyweight Title is they win their match tonight against the Dungeon of Doom. Anderson says that they are ready and that the beating they will give the DUngeon will be remembered forever. Benoit is up and he says that he is silent, but violent. Benoit says the Horsemen have tolerated the Dungeon of Doom for too long. He says The Giant doesn’t stand a chance when they win tonight.
Four-Man Dog Collar Match
Public Enemy (Rocco Rock and Johnny Grunge) vs. The Nasty Boys (Jerry Sags and Brian Knobbs)
These two teams have been going at it for months now. They both have a hard-hitting style, so from that standpoint, it makes sense.
Knobbs hits Grunge with the chain and both men fall to the outside with Sags and Rock taking each other out as well. Sags throws Rock into the stirs as Grunge is choking Knobbs with the chain. Rock grab s trash can lid and he hits Sags in the head. Both members of Public Enemy are on the offensive and continues pounding away on the Nasty Boys. Sags fights back and crotches Rock on the guard rail. Knobbs and Grunge are fighting in the sand on the set and they hit each other with the inflatable shark. Sags grabs a surfboard and takes Rock out with it. Knobbs covers Grunge after wearing him out with the other surfboard. Grunge gets back to his feet and hits a bulldog on the ramp. Rock comes off the lifeguard stand with a moonsault and continues wearing Sags out with the trash can lid. Rock climbs back up on the lifeguard seat, but Sags pulls him down off of it. Grunge is still on the offensive and covers Grunge for another two count. Sags drops a table on Rock but Grunge is there to set it up. Sags hits a piledriver on Rock on the floor. Good gravy. Grunge slams Knobbs into the table, but it doesn’t last long and he get double-teams by both Nasty Boys. Rock sets Sags up on the table and comes off the guardrail and puts him through it. All four men work their way back to the ring with Grunge and Knobbs rolling in the ring. Sags puts a table in the ring and Grunge throws Knobbs it. Rock puts Sags on the table in the ring and climbs to the top rope, but Sags pulls him off and he falls onto the table. The table didn’t break and that looked like it sucked. Sags puts Rock on the table and climb to the top himself. Sags comes off the top on to Rock and the table still doesn’t break. Grunge starts choking Grunge with the chain and they clothesline Rock with the chain. Sags covers Rock and pins him after 11:25.
Winner(s): The Nasty Boys
Match Rating: 1.5/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: That was a mess, which seems to have been the status quo for these two teams going at it. It was all over the place and they hit each other with everything. the commentary for this match had some of my favorite lines that I can remember. Listening to Bobby Heenan try and put into words what he was seeing was classic. The table spots near the end looked stiff as hell, and even though Public Enemy lost, they continued the fight after the match.
After the match, they continue brawling and Grunge hits Knobbs square in the head with the chain. Rock finally puts Sags through the table that refused to break beforehand. Rock hits an elbow off the apron as they go to the replays.
Mean Gene is backstage and is speculating on who the third man is tonight for the main event. He says that if The Outsiders even think about touching him he will be consulting a lawyer. He says you can cut the tension with a knife and that tonight is a huge night for WCW.
WCW Cruiserweight Title Match
Dean Malenko (c) vs. Disco Inferno
Malenko gets started quickly and sends Disco to the outside of the ring. The two men brawl on the outside until Malenko rolls him back in the ring. Malenko with a heel kick and he sends Disco down to the mat. He continues beating him down and hits a brainbuster for a two count. He keeps Disco grounded by wrapping his legs around his head, but Disco gets to the ropes and he forced to break the hold. Malenko slams his head into the corner and hits a belly to back suplex before grape vining the leg. Disco fights back to his feet but Malenko takes him down with a dropkick and a near fall. Malenko picks him up and hits a sunset flip for a two count. He works Disco into the corner and hits some kicks and chops. Disco fights his way out and puts Malenko in the corner and hits a couple of shots that sends Malenko to the mat. He throws him into the ropes and drops Malenko throat first on the top rope. He covers Malenko but only gets a two count. Malenko comes back with some offense and tosses Disco to the outside. He throws him into the guardrail before tossing him back in the ring. Malenko locks Disco in a submission that has him riving in pain. Disco fights to get to the ropes and he does which makes Malenko have to break the hold. Malenko comes off the rope and hits a leg drop. Disco comes back with some elbows to the head and he throws him into the corner and charges in with an elbow. He hits a neck breaker but showboats instead of going for the cover. He hits another one and showboats again before getting a two count. Malenko comes back with a dropkick and goes for the Texas Cloverleaf but Disco rolls him up for two. Disco hits a nice shot to the face but he can’t get Malenko down. Malenko hits a double underhook powerbomb and puts him in the Texas Cloverleaf to pick up the win in 12:04.
Winner and STILL WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Dean Malenko
Match Rating: 2.5/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: That was a straight ass-kicking by Malenko but Disco had some fight in him. Malenko controlled most of the match and his moves looked so smooth. He was truly one of the best in-ring technicians. Disco had a good showing and hit some nice moves but showboated a little too much and it caught up to him in the end. This was a very solid cruiserweight match and the second one on the night.
Joe Gomez vs. Steve “Mongo” McMichael (w/Debra McMichael)
It sounds like they had an overdubbed ring announcer for this match on the network which is bizarre.
McMichael starts off with some fire and takes Gomez down with a shoulder block. Gomez comes back and hits a cross body for a two count. McMichael gets back to his feet and continues taking it to Gomez with some shots to the head and takes him down to the mat. He hits a backbreaker and covers Gomez for a two count. Gomez tries to build a comeback and comes off the ropes but McMichael puts him in a sleeper. Gomez hits a jawbreaker and throws McMichael into the ropes, but he reverses course and hits Gomez with a neck breaker. McMichael tries to put on a figure four, but Gomez rolls him up for a two count. McMichael goes for an elbow drop, but Gomez rolls out of the way. He slams McMichael down and both men exchange blows. Gomez comes off the ropes and hits a series of dropkicks. Gomez goes for a sunset flip but they have an awkward exchange before he finally gets him over for a two count. Gomez comes off the ropes again, but McMichael catches him in a Tombstone Piledriver and he covers him to pick up the win. The match went 6:44.
Winner: Steve “Mongo” McMichael
Match Rating: 1/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: There wasn’t much to the match and the winner was never in doubt. Gomez and McMichael battled each other throughout the year but they got a match on PPV here. McMichael dominated most of it and the match had a lot of high impact offense. McMichael just joined the Horsemen the month before, so they were trying to build him up here.
Gene is backstage with “Nature Boy” Ric Flair, Elizabeth, and Woman. Flair says he will be winning the US Title tonight and that all The Horsemen will come out on top tonight. Flair says that Konnan has 1000 holds but Flair as unlimited knowledge of the greatest sport in the world. Gene goes to Elizabeth and they say there is a party tonight after the show and they would love if Gene came. Flair grabs the mic and says that he knows Savage has his mind elsewhere but just remember that his last is never coming back home with him. Gene and Woman exchange some more pleasantries before they go back down to the ring.
WCW United States Title Match
Konnan (c) vs. “Nature Boy” Ric Flair (w/Elizabeth and Woman)
Both men lock up to start the match with Flair working him into the corner. Konnan comes out and takes Flair down to the mat and puts him in a side headlock. Flair fights back and hits some offense before he is cut off with a dropkick form Konnan. Flair tries to bargain, but Konnan slaps him in the face. Flair is back on his feet, but Konnan takes him down again and continues grinding him down. Konnan with a shoulder block and mocks Flair. Flair gets back up and sends Konnan into the corner and hits him chops. He throws Konnan into the corner, but Konnan hits him with a back body drop on the way out. He puts Flair in a surfboard and picks him up for a Gorilla Press Slam. Konnan hits some chops of his own in the corner and decks him in the jaw. He hits Flair with a clothesline and then throws him to the outside. Konnan comes off the apron and takes Flair out with a senton which also takes Woman out. Konnan goes up top, but Woman knocks him off into the ring. That was awkward. Flair hits the running knee and covers Konnan for a two count. Both men are back to their feet and exchange blows in the ring before Flair gets a thumb to the eye. The Referee scolds Flair for the move and while he is distracted, Woman gets in the ring and hits a low blow on Konnan. Flair throws Konnan to the outside and Woman starts attacking him again. He gets up on the apron and Flair brings him in with a suplex and gets a two count. He puts Konnan in a chin lock and picks him back up and hits some chops. Konnan comes out of the corner with some of his own and starts punching Flair in the corner. Flair flops and Konnan dropkicks him to the outside. Konnan teases a Baseball Slide but isn’t fooled by everyone on the outside. Flair comes in the ring and starts begging Konnan, but it doesn’t work and Konnan takes him down again. Konnan with a drop tow hold and he puts Flair in The Figure Four. Flair gets to the ropes but Konnan hits a suplex for a two count. He throws Flair into the corner, but Flair hits an elbow as Konnan comes in. Flair climbs to the top and, to the surprise of no one, Konnan tosses him off. Konnan with a clothesline and covers him for a two count. Konnan rolls Flair up but Elizabeth and Woman get on the apron. Elizabeth starts distracting the referee as Woman takes off her shoe and hits Konnan with it. Flair covers him and wins the match and the US Title in 15:39.
Winner and NEW WCW United States Champion: Ric Flair
Match Rating: 2.5/ 5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: It was a typical Flair match with Konnan being on the offense for most of it and Flair selling so well. He might have been past his prime at this point, but Flair could still go. Konnan wasn’t too shabby here and the fact it took Flair, Elizabeth, and Woman working together to beat him made him look strong. Flair picking up the win here means if Anderson and Benoit beat Sullivan and The Giant, Flair gets a shot at The Giant for the WCW Heavyweight Title.
Gene is backstage eavesdropping on the Outsiders dressing room trying to figure out who the third man will be. Gene says the third voice in the room sounds familiar but he can’t pinpoint who it is. He asks the guards outside of the room but they won’t answer him. Schivone tells him to keep trying and let them know if he finds anything.
Chris Benoit and Arn Anderson vs. Kevin Sullivan and The Giant (w/Jimmy Hart)
Sullivan and The Giant start off quickly and attacking them in the aisle. The Giant is working on Benoit but McMichael comes from the back and he hits The Giant with a briefcase. The Giant follows him to the back and that leaves Sullivan to fend for himself. Sullivan and Benoit get in the ring as the bell sounds and the match is underway. The Giant comes back out to the ring and gets on the apron. Benoit and Anderson double-team Sullivan and keep him away from the corner. Anderson gets the tag and keeps beating on Sullivan and isolating him to their corner. Sullivan goes to the outside and Benoit is out there after him. They trade blows before Sullivan brings Anderson out and throws him into the guardrail. Benoit makes a tag and he hits Sullivan with some chops in the corner. He tags Anderson in but Sullivan fights back and knocks their heads together. Anderson comes back and throws Sullivan into the corner. Sullivan gets a thumb to the eye and The Giant knocks Anderson down with a clothesline. Sullivan covers him for a two count. Benoit makes a blind tag and puts Sullivan on the top rope. Benoit sees him and comes off the top, but The Giant catches him and tosses him aside. Benoit recovers and trades tags with Anderson and they continue working on Sullivan. Anderson works on the legs of Sullivan but he gets the leg up and knocks Anderson to the mat. Before he can get to his corner, Benoit cuts him off and takes Sullivan down. Sullivan moves out of the way of an Anderson attack, and he finally makes the tag to The Giant. Benoit and Sullivan work their way up the aisle way, as The Giant and Anderson stay in the ring. The Giant hits a Chokeslam and pins Anderson. The match went 7:59.
Winner(s): Kevin Sullivan and The Giant
Match Rating: 2/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: Sullivan took a beating for the entire match and The Giant was only in the match for about a minute. Anderson and Benoit worked well as a team and isolated Sullivan to their corner. The Giant picking up the win shouldn’t be surprising because he was a monster as the reigning WCW Heavyweight Champion. Sullivan and Benoit had bad blood on and off camera and everything they were involved in together looked stiff and real.
Post-Match, Benoit, and Sullivan continue beating each other up. Benoit flys off the announce table and takes Sullivan out. They go back to the ring, and Benoit puts him on the top rope. He climbs up with him and hits a belly to back suplex off the top. Woman makes her way to the ring and tries to make Benoit stop the beating. He continues stomping on Sullivan and that brings The Giant back out to the ring. He makes Benoit and Anderson flee the ring, and he carries Sullivan to the back.
They show some highlights leading up to The Hostile Takeover match, and it’s time for the main event.
Hostile Takeover 6-Man Tag Team Match
Team WCW (Sting, Lex Luger, and “Macho Man” Randy Savage) vs. The Outsiders (Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, and ???)
Michael Buffer is out for the ring announcement as usual for most big matches in WCW in this time period. This was the first match for Hall and Nash since returning to WCW. They were in the company before but didn’t make much of an impact. They come out to the ring but it is announced they are there by themselves. Gene goes to the ring to try and find out who the third man is. Gene asks Hall and he says that they know too much already. He says all they need to know is that he is there and he is ready to go. Nash takes the mic and says they have more than enough to handle this for right now. Sting, Savage, and Luger make their way out to the ring and they all have the war paint on and are ready to defend WCW.
Hall and Luger are the first two in the match for their teams. He throws something in Luger’s face and gets slapped for his troubles. Luger hits Hall with a forearm and knocks Nash off the apron before Hall hits him from behind. Sting comes in with a Stinger Splash and takes all three men out. That move knocks Luger out and Sting and Savage check on him at ringside. Paramedics come out to the ring and take Luger out of the match. It is now down to 2 on 2. Hall and Nash try and attack Luger on the stretcher, but Sting and Savage cut them off. Sting and Hall square off in the ring and Hall slaps him in the face. Sting comes back and takes Hall down with some shots of his own. He hits Hall with a bulldog and tags Savage into the match. Savage comes off the top but Hall hits him in the midsection on the way down. He tags Nash in and he hits Savage with some Snake Eyes. Nash tags Hall back in, but Savage gets back to his feet and knocks Hall down to the mat. Nash tags back in and he hits Savage with a high knee to the gut. He hits a scoop slam and tries to come down with an elbow, but he lands on Savage’s head and he rolls out of the ring. Sting is in and Nash continues the beating on him. He throws Sting into the corner and is met with a dropkick from Sting that takes him down. It doesn’t last long though and Nash throws him down with a choke. He tags Hall back in the match and the two continue the double-team on Sting. Hall hits a Fall Away Slam and covers Sting for a two count. Nash makes a blind tag and hits a big boot that takes Sting out. Sting gets back to his feet and is pummeled by Nash once again. He throws Sting into the ropes, but he comes back with a dropkick to the knee. Sting crawls over to his corner, but Hall takes Savage out before making the tag back in. Hall hits Sting with a series of elbows and puts him in an Abdominal Stretch. Hall and Nash make the tag and switch places as Nash puts Sting in the stretch. Sting rakes the eyes and crawls over to his corner, but Hall cuts him off.
Hall hits Sting with a clothesline as Savage tries and gets the crowd into the match. Hall puts Sting in a chin lock and tosses him to the outside. Savage grabs a chair, but the referee holds him back from hitting anyone. Sting gets back in the ring and Hall knocks him down again. Nash makes the tag in and hits a big Sidewalk Slam and covers him for a two count. He slams Sting’s head into the corner, and throws him into the ropes. Sting kicks Nash in the head and tries to make a comeback. Sting hits some offense and he has Nash reeling. He makes the tag to Savage and he is a house of fire. He takes both Outsiders out and hits a double ax on the outside to Hall. He tries to pick Nash up but he hits Savage with a low blow Hulk Hogan comes out to the ring as Heenan scream “who’s side is he on?”. Hogan gets in the ring and tears his shirt off and scares The Outsiders out of the ring. He stands in the corner, but turns around and hits Savage with the Legdrop, revealing him as the third man. Hall and Nash hit the ring, and they toss the referee to the outside of the ring. Hogan covers Savage and Hall counts the three but obviously it didn’t count. The match went 16:55.
Winner(s): No One
Match Rating: 3/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: If you look at this as just a straight wrestling match, it wasn’t anything spectacular. If you are looking at it from a storyline perspective, this was booked fantastic. Luger was in the match for about a minute before he was taken out which evened the odds. Sting was on defense for 3/4 of the match and when he tagged Savage in he took everyone out. Nash hitting him with the low blow which led to Hogan hitting the leg drop sealed his first heel turn since Hulkamania began. Wrestling fans of this time period can remember what a monumental thing that was and to see it actually happen was stunning. Hall and Nash coming in was a big scoop for WCW and them convincing Hogan to turn his back on the fans was something of pure magic.
After the match, fans start throwing debris in the ring and Gene makes his way down to see what has just happened. Gene asks Hogan what that was all about. Hogan says that Gene needs to tell people to shut up if they want to hear what he has to say. Gene says he is sick to his stomach and that Hogan owes them an explanation. Hogan says that this is the future of wrestling and that you can call this the New World Order of wrestling, brother. He says these two men came from a big organization up north and that he made that organization what it is today. He says at the end of the day, the name Hogan was bigger than the whole company. Hogan says that Billionaire Ted came along and promised Hogan movies and world-caliber matches. Hogan says as far as WCW goes, he is bored with it all. He says that Hall and Nash are the new blood and that he wants to be a part of it with them. Hogan says they will run through everyone that gets in their way. Gene mentions the garbage in the ring, and Hogan says it represents all the fans. Hogan says the fans can stick it because he did everything he could to be the good guy and they still booed him. He said if it wasn’t for him, wrestling wouldn’t be around today. He says that he was selling out arenas when they were bumming gas to get to high school. Hogan says this is the New World Organization of wrestling and they are going to rule the world. Gene sends it back to Schiavone, who says “Hulk Hogan, you can go to hell” as they sign off and the credits roll.
In John Canton’s review of the show, he wrote out the whole promo from Hogan with Okerlund, so I’m going to put that in here with permission so you can read it in case you aren’t familiar with it.
Okerlund: “Hulk Hogan, excuse me, excuse me, what in the world are you thinking?”
Hogan: “Mean Gene, the first thing you need to do is to tell these people to shut up if you wanna hear what I got to say!”
Okerlund: “I have been with you for so many years…for you to join up with these two men absolutely makes me sick! And I think that these people here and a lot of other people around the world have had just about enough of this man here (points at Nash) and this man (points at Hall) and you want to put yourself with this group? You’ve gotta be kidding me!”
Hogan: “First thing you gotta realize, brother, is this right here is the future of wrestling. You can call this the New World Order of wrestling, brother! These two men here came from a great, big organization up north. Everybody was wondering who the third man was, well who knows more about that organization than me, brother?”
Okerlund: “I’ve been there, I’ve done that…and you have made the wrong decision, in my opinion.”
Hogan: “Well lemme tell you something…I made that organization a monster…I made the people rich up there…and when it all came to pass, the name Hulk Hogan, the man Hulk Hogan, got bigger than the whole organization, brother. And then Billionaire Ted, amigo, he wanted to talk turkey with Hulk Hogan. Well, Billionaire Ted promised me movies, brother, Billionaire Ted promised me millions of dollars and Billionaire Ted promised me world calibre matches! As far as Billionaire Ted goes, Eric Bischoff and the whole WCW goes…I’m bored, brother. That’s why these two guys here, the so called Outsiders, these are the men I want as my friends, they’re the new blood of professional wrestling, brother, and not only are we gonna take over the whole wrestling business with Hulk Hogan and new blood, the monsters with me, we will destroy everything in our path, Mean Gene.”
Okerlund: (Points at garbage in the ring) “Look at all the crap in this ring! That’s what’s in the future for you if you want to hang around with this man Hall and this man Nash.”
Hogan: “As far as I’m concerned, all this crap in the ring represents these fans out here. For two years, brother, for two years I held my head high, I did everything for the charities, I did everything for the kids, and the reception I got when I came out here, you fans can STICK IT, brother. Because if it wasn’t for Hulk Hogan, you people wouldn’t be here, if it wasn’t for Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff would still be selling meat from a truck in Minneapolis. If it wasn’t for Hulk Hogan, all these Johnny come lately’s you see wrestling wouldn’t be here. I was selling the world, brother, while they were bumming gas to put in their car to get to high school. So the way it is now brother, with Hulk Hogan and the New World Organization of wrestling, brother, and the new blood by my side, whatcha gonna do when the New World Organization runs wild on you? WHATCHA GONNA DO?”
Collective Thoughts: I often ponder to myself what I think are the best wrestling promos of all time, and this one is always in that conversation. Hogan laid into the fans as you have never heard him before. I genuinely think the trash that got thrown in the ring was a legitimate reaction to someone turning his back on people who had supported him for a decade-plus up to that point. Hogan was growing stale at the time and he always had a mind for when to make a business move. Legend has it that he had to be convinced to be the third man and that they had Sting lined up in case he said no. There were a couple of other names thrown out there, but with all due respect to even Sting, Hogan was the only one that was going to move the needle. Hogan turning heel was something that sent shockwaves through the professional wrestling world and is something that is still talked about even today. He eventually went back to the red and yellow a few years later, but he had a nice run as “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan. Schiavone telling Hogan to go to hell was an awesome touch and added a sense of realism to the whole thing. This is the turning point in which WCW became a major player and started to challenge the WWF for wrestling supremacy.
Overall Show Rating: 7 out of 10
Was this show as good as The Great American Bash? I don’t think so, but from a storyline perspective, it was everything it needed to be. Even with taking the main event out of it, some of the matches on the night were really good. The opener with Mysterio and Psychosis was a classic cruiserweight match and was one of the first to show what the smaller guys could do. I felt like the Cruiserweight Title match between Malenko and Disco was also pretty good, but not on the same level as the first. You had a good match between Flair and Konnan for the United States Titles and even had a little nonsense thrown in. This Pay-Per-View is legendary though because of what transpired at the end of it. Hogan was in uncharted territory turning heel but boy did it give a shot in the arm to the wrestling industry. Overall, it was a solid show, and I can’t complain much about it.
What did you think of WCW Bash at the Beach 1996? Loved it? Hated it? Still can’t get over it? Either way, keep the conversation going over @collectiveheel on Twitter and let me know your thoughts. Take care of yourselves, and take care of each other. I will be back soon enough with some Collective Thoughts.