Written By: Matt Peddycord
Bash at the Beach
July 7, 1996
Daytona Beach, FL
The current WCW champs were as follows:
WCW World Champion: The Giant (4/29/1996)
WCW U.S. Champion: Konnan (1/29/1996)
WCW World Tag Team Champions: Harlem Heat (6/24/1996)
WCW World Television Champion: Lex Luger (3/6/1996)
WCW World Cruiserweight Champion: Dean Malenko (5/18/1996)
Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, and Dusty Rhodes. Oh my gosh – ERIC BISCHOFF IS MISSING!
Rey Mysterio vs. Psychosis
Mike Tenay joins us for this one match to explain what is going on because you don’t want Dusty Rhodes talking during a match like this. YAKNOWWHATIMTALKINABOUT? This was a classic lucha feud that has spanned two countries and now three promotions – AAA, ECW and WCW. Psychosis refuses a handshake and slaps Rey across the face. Armdrag puts Psychosis out on the floor, but he’s quickly back inside. They do some back and forth mat stuff for a while which is pretty neat. Rey hits a wheelbarrow armdrag, but Psychosis sidesteps a quebrada and drills Mysterio with a spinning heel kick that takes Rey to the floor for a suicide dive – or tope suicida for my Latin audience, which probably doesn’t exist. Back inside, Psychosis hits a jumping leg drop for two. He wears Rey down for a few moments in a chinlock and then heads up top for the GUILLOTINE LEG DROP for 1-2-NO! More wear down stuff from Psychosis. They head over to the apron where Mysterio monkey flips Psychosis into the ringpost! That was different. With Psychosis dazed on the floor, here comes Rey with a running hurracanrana off the apron. Back in, Mysterio hits the SPRINGBOARD HURRACANRANA for 1-2-NO! Psychosis catches Rey with a drop toehold and reapplies a headscissors down on the mat. Off a whip, Psychosis launches Mysterio chest-first onto the top rope. Down on the floor, he drops Rey on the guardrail. You know, just for fun. That sets up Rey for a FLYING SENTON ON THE FLOOR! Geez. Back in the ring, Psychosis rips at Rey’s face during a camel clutch. He’s just being MEAN to the guy. Rey comes out of a hammerlock with a snapmare and then cartwheels onto the shoulders of Psychosis for a spinning rana! That sends Psychosis to the floor. Rey springboard dropkicks him on the apron and takes him to the floor with a flying headscissors! AWESOME. Back inside, a split-legged moonsault from Rey gets two. Rey sends Psychosis on the outside with a springboard dropkick and follows up with a springboard corkscrew moonsault on the floor! Holy crap. Back in, Psychosis counters the SPRINGBOARD HURRACANRANA with a sitout powerbomb for 1-2-NO! Psychosis looks to finish with the Splash Mountain, but Rey counters *that* in mid-move with a rana for 1-2-3! (15:18) Definitely a highlight opener for WCW PPVs and a MOTYC for sure which set the standard for cruiserweight wrestling in the US. ****½
In the back, Gene Okerlund is talking with the US Champ Konnan. I’m not a fan of this guy, but he’s at least bearable when he’s not trying to be all bowdy bowdy and rowdy rowdy.
John Tenta vs. Big Bubba (w/Jimmy Hart) – Carson City Silver Dollar Match
It’s a “sock of quarters on a pole” match. The length of this pole is ridiculous and gives away the finish if you think about it. I mean, it’s easily 20 feet long. Shoot, Bobby Heenan gives away the finish in the commentary. It’s a big man brawl to start. After a bunch of failed attempts at reaching the sock, Bubba tapes Tenta’s arm (just one arm) to the middle rope and tries to cut his hair AGAIN, but Tenta low blows and steals the scissors. He cuts himself loose and tries to cut the ties around the pole to bring it down so he can retrieve the sock, but Bubba stops that pretty quickly. Bubba puts Tenta down with a Spinebuster and tells Jimmy to climb up the pole. Jimmy reaches the sock, but Tenta is back on his feet and gives Bubba his powerslam. As Jimmy slides down, he goes right into the arms of John Tenta. He grabs the sock of silver dollars and shoves Jimmy aside while he bops Bubba for the 1-2-3. (9:00) Yes, this was NINE MINUTES LONG! John Tenta was not a fish, people. He was indeed a man. ½*
Gene Okerlund grabs Randy Savage, Lex Luger and Sting for a quick interview. Who is the third man? They don’t care because they know it’s going to be somebody. Alright.
Jim Duggan vs. Diamond Dallas Page – Taped Fist Match
Even though Jim Duggan made it clear on Nitro that he doesn’t wear jewelry and thinks guys who are fruity, this is for the ‘Lord of the Ring’ ring. Page takes a shoulderblock out to the floor to start. He stalls a little bit, but that’s just to draw Duggan into a hotshot so he can tape Duggan’s ankles around the ringpost for a wide open stomping. Not to mention he takes the tape right off Duggan’s hands and wrists. Headbutt to Duggan does no good, so Duggan fires back and punches DDP out to the floor. Duggan sends Page into the guardrail and backs him into the ringpost. He follows up with a suplex back inside, but Page counters a second one into an armbar takedown. Duggan crotches Page up top and pulls him down by his hair. Ten count turnbuckle smashes follow. HOOOOOOOOOOOO! Duggan clotheslines Page out and brings him back inside. On his way back in, Page kicks the ropes up into Duggan’s genitalia to set him up for a surprise DIAMOND CUTTER! Nobody gets up from that. Cover, 1-2-3. (5:39) Duggan tapes his fist up again after the match and gives DDP a cheapshot blow. HOOOOOOOOOOOO! ½*
Okerlund meets up with the WCW world champ The Giant, Kevin Sullivan, and Jimmy Hart in the back. KEVIN SULLIVAN IS NOT THE WEAK LINK IN THE DUNGEON OF DOOM! Stop saying that. You’ll hurt his feelings.
The always-jittery Lee Marshall is standing by with Arn Anderson and Chris Benoit in the aisleway. Arn gives his thoughts on the Outsiders. Now onto Kevin Sullivan and The Giant. This match is all about regaining the WCW world title for the Horsemen. And when they chop the Giant in half, he’ll only be 3 foot 6. Chris Benoit sticks with the ’silent but violent’ talk.
The Nasty Boys vs. Public Enemy – Double Dog Collar Match
Sure, why not go with this match? Sags is chained to Rocco Rock, Knobbs is chained to Grunge. I guess they decided this based on hair color. They quickly brawl over to the beach set up where Knobbs beats Grunge with an inflatable shark – and GRUNGE SELLS IT! Meanwhile, Sags beats Rock with a surfboard, which is at least more painful than an inflatable shark. Rocco climbs up a lifeguard stand and gets yanked down by Sags. On the other hand, Knobbs is wearing Grunge out with a chair. For some reason, Rock climbs the lifeguard stand again and Sags turns the whole thing over. Sags finds a table and does his suplex spot with it onto Rock. Oh geez, Sags gives Rock a piledriver on the concrete. Trash can violence ensues between Grunge and Knobbs. Meanwhile, Rocco puts Sags through a table as he comes off a guardrail. All four men head back to the ring where Rock tries to hit the DRIVE BY on Sags through another table, but Sags winds up yanking him off onto the table, which doesn’t give. Sags wraps his elbow in the chain and tries a flying elbow drop through the table. Still no give on the table. Knobbs hangs Grunge over the top rope and uses the excess chain to clothesline Rock for 1-2-3. (11:25) As Tony said, what a mess. **
We go to Gene Okerlund who is standing down the hallway from the Outsiders locker room to tell us that he has nothing to tell us.
WCW World Cruiserweight Champion Dean Malenko vs. Disco Inferno
Now you may think, what a joke this match must have been. Well, you would be quite wrong. There’s actually a story here. For almost a year now, Disco Inferno has accumulated quite the incredible lop sided win loss record because he can’t get past worrying about his hair and he always takes time to dance when he should be making a pin attempt or following up on a move he just did. Early on, Malenko reprimands Disco for being such a dancing fool and beats him in and out of the ring. Nasty brainbuster gets two. Malenko controls with a headscissors on the mat, but Disco makes the ropes. He does more damage with a back suplex and grabs a leg hook. DISCO REFUSES TO SUBMIT! Malenko tries an STF, but Disco refuses to give up. Disco fires back out of the corner and turns into quite the sympathetic babyface. He follows up with a hotshot on Malenko and face plants him for two. Malenko dumps Disco to cool him off and whips him into the guardrail. Back in, Malenko applies a full nelson using the legs and Disco fights his way into the ropes for the break. Disco elbows Malenko down into the corner. He misses a corner charge though, but blocks a flying double sledge and hits a reverse neckbreaker. He takes too long to cover though. Backdrop gets two and he follows up with a swinging neckbreaker. More dancing costs him the win, but he realizes it that time. Malenko comes back with a springboard dropkick and goes for the TEXAS CLOVERLEAF, but Disco counters into a small package for two. Disco catches Malenko with a clothesline for 1-2-NO! Malenko returns the favor, but whiffs on a dropkick. Malenko fights off a backslide and delivers the Tiger Driver into the TEXAS CLOVERLEAF for the submission win. (12:04) You can at least say that Disco Inferno tried. ***
On the unedited PPV version, Gene Okerlund gets the privilege of interviewing Kimberly when she’s wearing nothing but a Bash at the Beach towel. DARN YOU TURNER AND YOUR EDITING.
Steve McMichael (w/Debra) vs. Joe Gomez
This has no business being on PPV. Joe Gomez is NOT a guy who can make Mongo look good and give him credibility and that’s what this is supposed to do. Mongo starts pushing Gomez around early like a football player. Gomez fires back with a crossbody block, but it does little good. McMichael sits down on a chinlock and Gomez escapes with a jawbreaker. Does little good, because Mongo catches him with a reverse neckbreaker. Figure-Four is reversed into an inside cradle. Gomez backdrops out of a piledriver and running chops Mongo down. They have a hard time with a sunset flip, but then Mongo catches Gomez for a TOMBSTONE PILEDRIVER for the win. (6:44) Yeah, this was something better suited for syndicated TV, not something you pay for. CRAP
Gene has some fun with Ric Flair and the ladies in the back. WOOO.
WCW U.S. Heavyweight Champion Konnan vs. Ric Flair (w/Elizabeth & Woman)
Think about it – it really seems that Ric Flair has wrestled everybody at one point or another that has come through the US. Flair plays his macho head games to start, so Konnan grabs a headlock to shut him up. They run the ropes and Konnan catches Flair with a dropkick in the gut. Flair gets up to slap Konnan and Konnan slaps him down to the mat. That Woman – she’s a screamer! Flair chops out of a headlock, but Konnan hits a backdrop and slaps on a modified surfboard. Konnan hits a pair of press slams and then we go to the floor. He nails Flair with a clothesline off the apron and Liz gets in the way a little bit. Konnan tries coming off the top and Woman shakes the ropes to bring him down. Back in, Rolling Knee Drop connects for two. Flair brings the ref into the corner, allowing Woman to come in with a field goal kick to the balls. Woman gets involved some more as Flair tosses Konnan to the floor. Suplex from the apron brings Konnan back in for a bunch of two-counts. Konnan escapes a chinlock and delivers some ten-count corner punches. Flair Flop puts him on the floor with a springboard dropkick. Flair comes in and begs off. Sunset flip is blocked, but Konnan counters the FIGURE-FOUR with an inside cradle for two. Now Konnan applies the Figure-Four, but Flair finds the ropes. Flair gets slammed off the top and eats a face slam for two. Rolling Lariat gets 1-2-NO! Konnan tries to secure the victory with an Oklahoma roll, but Liz distracts the ref while Woman pulls off her shoe and whacks Konnan for the 1-2-3. (15:39) Ric Flair REGAINS the U.S. title to become a five time champion. You have to hand it to Flair here – he tries to make everybody to at least appear to be a threat. **½
Gene Okerlund puts his ear to the Outsiders dressing room. He says he hears a third voice, but it’s too muffled to make out exactly who’s voice it could be. In other words, he still knows absolutely nothing.
Arn Anderson & Chris Benoit vs. The Giant & Kevin Sullivan (w/Jimmy Hart)
If either Anderson or Benoit score a pinfall, they will get a WCW world title shot tomorrow night on Nitro. Sullivan and Giant jumpstart this thing in the aisleway, but Mongo runs out and bashes Giant with the briefcase to draw him backstage. Meanwhile, Arn and Benoit have Sullivan all alone. Jimmy Hart manages to calm the Giant down and bring him back to the ring. The Horsemen keep Sullivan on their side of town for a while with lots of brawling. Arn goes for a DDT near the ropes, but Giant runs him down from the apron with a clothesline. Benoit wants to superplex Sullivan, but Giant comes in for the distraction. Benoit jumps back on him and gets caught and tossed onto Arn. More of the Horsemen beatdown. They go for a SPIKE PILEDRIVER, but Sullivan counters and catapults Arn into Benoit. Eww that was ugly. HOT TAG TO THE GIANT! Benoit and Sullivan brawl over behind the announcers position while Giant CHOKESLAMS Arn in the ring for the 1-2-3. (7:59) So Giant and Jimmy leave, but Benoit and Sullivan are still brawling. Back to the ring, Benoit gives Sullivan a back superplex! Woman comes down and stops Benoit from doing any more damage on the Taskmaster. He won’t listen. Here comes the Giant to scare the Horsemen off. **
Lex Luger, Sting, and Randy Savage vs. Scott Hall & Kevin Nash
Gene Okerlund stops the entrances and goes over to ask Hall and Nash where their third man is. Hall tells him not to worry about because he knows too much already. WE DON’T KNOW ANYTHING! Nash says they have enough to handle it right now. Luger and Hall start the match. Hall throws the toothpick, Luger pimp slaps him across the face. Hall peppers Lex with rights, but Luger fires back with a STEEL PLATED FLYING FOREARM! Luger gets dumped to the apron and runs Hall down with a clothesline, but he goes right into Nash’s arms where Nash holds him down across the steel turnbuckle connector as Sting flies in and crushes Nash and Luger with a Stinger Splash. Lex is out cold and quickly gets carried out on a stretcher. Immediately you’re thinking, ‘Alright well Lex Luger is going to be the third man. Now it all makes sense as to why he was acting like a pseudo babyface since he’s returned to WCW last September.” Once everything settles, Sting has enough of Hall slapping people around and goes ballistic on him. Savage tags in, but Hall catches him in mid-air as he tries a flying double sledge. Hall draws Sting in as Nash comes in and gives Savage the Snake Eyes. Tag to Nash, he slams Savage down and misses an elbow drop. Sting tags in and takes the knees in the corner followed by the boot choke. He whips Sting into the corner, but Sting floats over and drills Nash with a dropkick. Sunset flip fails and Nash lifts Sting up in a choke lift. Hall comes in and hits Sting with a Fallaway Slam for two. Sting continues to play *your* face in peril for a little while longer. They switch off an ab stretch and cheat like muthatruckas. Hall dumps Sting out for Nash, but Savage knows what’s about to happen and runs over to save him with a chair. Back inside, Nash hits the Side Slam for two. Sting ducks and punches on Nash, he nails Hall, and makes the leaping HOT TAG TO SAVAGE! He nails Hall with a Flying Double Ax Handle and delivers the DOUBLE NOGGIN KNOCKER! Hall gets dumped and takes the Flying Double Ax Handle across the guardrail! Back in, Savage grabs Nash and takes a low blow. Everybody’s down. Here comes Hulk Hogan to save the day! Hall and Nash clear out of the ring in fear as Hogan rips off the shirt…and LEGDROPS Savage! He gives the Outsiders the thumbs up. Several more LEGDROPS follow. Sting and the ref both get tossed out. Hogan covers and Hall counts to three. (16:00) Doesn’t count of course – it’s a no contest. Sting drags out Savage and helps him to the back. The Ocean Center starts emptying their trash in the ring. A crazy fan gets in the ring and DECKED immediately with a forearm by Kevin Nash. Hall helps him stomp the fan out of the ring. Here comes Gene Okerlund for the infamous Hulk Hogan heel turn promo. ****
Gene: 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 want to hear what I’ve got to say.
Gene: I’ve been with you for so many years. For you to join up with the likes of these two men absolutely makes me sick to my stomach. And I think that these people here, and a lot of other people around the world, have had just about of enough of this man and this man. And you want to put yourself in this group? You’ve gotta be kidding me!
Hogan: Well, the first thing you’ve got to realize, brother, is that this right here is the future of wrestling. You can call this, the New World Order of wrestling, brother. These two men right here came from a great big organization up north and everybody was wondering who the third man was. Well who knows more about that organization than me, brother?
Gene: I’ve been there. I’ve done that. You have made the wrong decision, in my opinion.
Hogan: Well, let me tell you something. I made that organization a monster. I made people rich up there. I made the people that ran that organization rich up there, brother. 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 caliber matches. And as far as Billionaire Ted, 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 going to take over the whole wrestling business, with Hulk Hogan, and the new blood, the monsters with me. We will destroy everything in our path, Mean Gene.
Gene: Look at all of this crap in this ring. This is what’s in the future for you, if you want to hang around the likes of this man, Hall, and this man, Nash.
Hulk Hogan: As far as I’m concerned, all of 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…and if it wasn’t for Hulk Hogan, you people wouldn’t be here. And if it wasn’t for Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff would be still selling meat from a truck in Minneapolis. And if it wasn’t for Hulk Hogan, all of these “Johnny-come-lately’s” that you see out here wrestling wouldn’t be here. I was selling out 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, me and the new blood by my side. Whatcha gonna do when the new world order runs wild on you? Whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do?
And Tony Schiavone closes us out with this: For Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan, for Dusty Rhodes, Gene Okerlund, I don’t know, I’m Tony Schiavone…Hulk Hogan, you can go to hell…we’re out of here…straight to hell.
The third man was rumored to be anybody from Bret Hart, Jeff Jarrett, Lex Luger, Sting, and of all people, Mabel. I don’t say this much, but thank God it was Hulk Hogan.
Final Thoughts: It’s Bash at the Beach 1996. What can I say, it’s an Eric Bischoff classic. Very well booked show, but admittedly there is some crap here. However, for any fan of the nWo – this is an absolute must have. For the most part from here until around 1999, it’s all cruiserweights and the nWo as far as the PPVs are concerned, so it’s almost the end of an era. Thumbs up for Bash at the Beach 1996 more for the aura of the show than the plethora of stars.