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WCW Bash At The Beach 1997 7/13/1997

Written by: Scott Keith

Live from Daytona Beach, with the usual gang of idiots doing the announcing. Opening rant: At several points during the card, the announcers state that the entire world is watching this, and every major paper and sports channel will be covering it. For the record, I have not heard one mention of Rodman in the legitimate press as it relates to wrestling. Not a single one. But then, WCW wasn’t the #1 organization in the world when they started claiming that, either, so I guess it’s par for the course.

Opening match:
Well, we’ve finally run out of combinations of Glacier v. Mortis/Wrath in singles matches, so now it’s Glacier and Ernest “Chocolate Mousse” Miller v. Mortis and Watch in a tag match. I really don’t care about three of the four guys in this, and I only care about Wrath because he used to be a pretty cool character named Adam Bomb. Wrath actually pulls off some pretty interesting shit in this, including a somersault off the apron and a kind of reverse Boston Crab. The announcers try to build a backstory, despite the total lack of plotting to begin with. It doesn’t work. Miller can kick well, but that’s all he does. Luckily, he doesn’t figure into this match. Glacier gives Vandenberg a wicked kick off the apron, but gets kicked by Mortis (with a chain on the boot) for the pin and a win for the heels for the first time. A pleasant surprise of a match to start. ***

Ultimate Dragon v. Chris Jericho:
Gee, shouldn’t they call him Chris Jerichate? Lots of flipping and flopping and flying but no real offense here. Dumbass crowd chants “We want Syxx.” Tony lists the things that the nWo could do here: Nothing or something. And the First Annual Deanna Troi Award for Stating the Blatantly Obvious in the Name of Filling Time goes to…Tony Schiavone ! You can collect your fake statuette after the show, Tony. Hum-drum match with a few high-spots thrown in. No real flow or pacing to speak of. Jericho gets the pin after reversing a pinning combination for the millionth time. ***1/2, but both guys are capable of so much more.

Scheme Gene yaps about the usual bullshit, then finds Raven and the Clueless Putz in the front row. Raven reads some poetry and Stevie almost gives away a big secret, earning him a smack. Oh, please, oh please don’t let WCW fuck this up. And memo to Eric: You might as well just sign the Blue Meanie and get it over with. The cruiserweight division would *rock* if these guys get to bring their circus to town. And I mean that in the nicest way.

And things just go waaaaaaaaaaaaay downhill from here, folks.

Steiner Brothers v. Evil Japanese Team:
The guy with the huge bald spot and dumb looking makeup looks a lot like a really good wrestler I used to know named Keiji Mutoh …I wonder if they’re related? Have I mentioned Scott looks like a porno star with the goatee and roided look? Better check your baggage claim tags, Muta, you left your talent (and hair) in Japan. Stall, stall, stall. Shit match which is supposed to somehow be meaningful because it means the Steiners will get a title shot “down the road.” * and that’s being generous. I just can’t watch the Steiners anymore.

Rant #2: I’m getting pretty fucking sick of this stupid “winner gets a title shot” gimmick in place of actual, you know, TITLE MATCHES. Just because the two World titles in WCW are held by people who NEVER DEFEND THEM doesn’t mean I as a fan have to like being jerked around by the bookers. The Steiners have now won, what, 14 matches where the winner gets a title shot, and the Outsiders still haven’t defended the belts since the Bash. And don’t even get me started on Hogan. And how many title shots do the Steiners deserve, anyway? They’re already something like 5-time champions, enough’s enough already.

Next match!

Trios match: Psychosis/La Parka/Villano IV v. Hector Garza /Juventud Guerrera /Lizmark Jr: I will give WCW credit for putting a real lucha libre style match on the PPV instead of adapting it to American rules. That being said, I don’t really care for this style of wrestling and I don’t feel comfortable rating it. Only half the guys in this are anything special, however, and Sonny Onoo always drags things down with him. Technicos win after a Villano IV/V switch attempt backfires.

Career Match – Kevin Sullivan v. Chris Benoit :
Jackie and Kevin argue as they come to the ring, thus giving away the ending right there. I called that one easily enough. As usual, this goes all over the place. Utterly mindless mayhem, and not very good either. This is #245 in the series, and it’s easily the worst of the bunch. Why can they hit each other with surfboards, and yet Chris still has to break the hold when Sullivan gets to the ropes? They brawl a bit outside, come back in, Chris puts a boring submission move on Sullivan, Sullivan gets out, Jackie turns on Sullivan, Chris wins. Lame match with a cheap ending. * for the match, an additional * for (hopefully) never having to endure Kevin Sullivan in the ring with Chris Benoit again. Good riddance to bad booking. I’m going to assume their was some kind of foreshadowing of a Jackie turn on Nitros previous, because their certainly wasn’t any reason for it I could see.

US title match – Jeff Jarrett v. Steve McMichael :
Oh joy. 600 wrestlers on the WCW roster and it’s Jeff Jarrett fighting Steve McMichael for the fucking US title. Jeff gets zero pop here, and quickly realizes he’ll have to play the heel to get over. So he does. I think, at this point, JJ can called a bad investment on WCW’s part. Fairly quick match (God is merciful indeed) which ends in a Debra turn as she gives the briefcase to Jarrett for the pin, which I’m sure means this interminable feud will be stretched out over another 3 PPVs. **

Mystery Partner Match: Scott Hall and Randy Savage v. DDP and ???:
Curt Hennig is revealed as the mystery partner, which would have had more impact had he not made a pointless appearance on Nitro the past week. $10 says he turns on DDP by the end of the match. The (Legal) Hand of God is waiting to smite anyone who dares say the word “Perfect” in any context during this match. Although “Now you’re going to see a fisherman’s suplex!” just doesn’t have that same ring. This is one of those matches where you look back at the lineup 5 years later and say “Why was Hall teaming with Savage? Why was DDP teaming with Hennig?” Nothing match, as DDP plays whipping boy for a bit, then Hennig turns on him (I win $10 from myself, I guess) to the shock of no one. Usual nWo bullshit ending follows as they double-team DDP and pin him, then beat on him for a bit. Is one fully resolved storyline at a PPV too much to ask? **1/2 The “Tune into Nitro!” at the end was unspoken and unnecessary.

Geriatric Match – Roddy Piper v. Ric Flair:
I don’t care how spunky these old guys are, I’ll take Dean Malenko , Sting, Eddy Guerrero and/or any one of a dozen guys WCW could be using in the upper echelons over these guys any day. Interesting fact: The combined age of Flair and Piper is 238. Look it up. Seriously, it’s time to hang it up, guys. The joke isn’t funny anymore. Good enough match, but who cares anymore? Respect, tradition, blah blah blah. Put ’em out to pasture already. At least Dusty Rhodes had the decency to retire before he got to be *too* much of a parody of himself. The Horsemen interfere at one point, but Piper survives and puts Flair out with the sleeper. This was waaaaaaaay too long and I personally don’t care if neither guy ever wrestles again at this point. **

Rant #3: Dennis Rodman is not a great athlete. He’s a freak of nature and a disgrace to the NBA. The announcers should be ashamed of themselves for shamelessly heralding him as the second coming as though being a good basketball player somehow translates to having wrestling talent. It doesn’t. He’s a self-promoting slimeball who wouldn’t be considered worth shit if he didn’t dress like a transvestite and act like a spoiled little twerp in the name of “sport.”

That being said…

“Main” event – Hulk Hogan & Dennis Rodman v. Lex Luger & The Giant:
Terrible. Utterly awful. I’m not even going to dignify this bullshit “match” with a summary. Suffice it to say, Dennis does about three moves and the announcers nearly kill each other fighting to be the next one to suck Rodman off. “A leapfrog! He leapfrogged him! Oh my god, even Rey Mysterio Jr. can’t do a leapfrog! Dennis Rodman is the greatest wrestler alive! Pass the kleenex!” Gimme a fucking break. Someone who looks like Sting comes down and nails the Giant with the baseball bat, which of course leads to Luger racking Hogan for the submission. Yeah, it didn’t really make sense to me, either. Luger racks everyone else for good measure. *

This gets a big “whatever” from me. WCW fans, if you like this sort of thing, bully for you. Three turns, none of which really made any sense, four if you count “Sting,” and what is possibly the worst main event I’ve seen in a long, long time. Rodman can’t wrestle, period. He has no business being in the ring, and WCW has no business making the fans pay $27.95 to watch him try.

Don’t believe the hype. Thumbs down for Bash at the Beach.

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