The Furious Flashbacks – WCW Bash at the Beach ‘95
Posted by Arnold Furious on 11.26.2006
Like having your eyeballs raped by a rabid skunk
The Furious Flashbacks – WCW Bash at the Beach ‘95
Like having your eyeballs raped by a rabid skunk
This is the second Bash at the Beach following Hogan’s arrival a year previous. WCW claimed some pretty outrageous numbers for turn out anything up to 100,000 at one point even though the official, unpaid, attendance was 9,500. The main draw for the show was Hulk Hogan’s title defence inside a steel cage against Vader. He’d been built up as a monster going into the Hogan feud but during it his stuff had been progressively toned down mainly during a farce main event at Uncensored. Possibly because Hogan protested his dominance or maybe WCW wanted to book Vader weaker because his contract was running out and they knew the WWF were sniffing around him as a potential main event star. Either way you look at it the threat to the title was largely gone by this show. Despite this it did a respectable 0.82 buyrate, closer to what the WWF were hitting on a regular basis. The suggestion was certainly that WCW buying up the name stars was making a difference. The WWF’s PPV’s were actually getting worse during 1995 as they pushed guys that didn’t have big fanbases. I’m talking Diesel and especially Mabel who both got enormous pushes around the time of this show when King of the Ring did a weak 0.65. The resultant pay off bout between the two at Summerslam only drew 0.9 (compared to Bret-Owen the previous year, which did 1.3). You can see how during 1995 the two companies were getting closer than ever before. By the time of Survivor Series the WWF’s buyrates were in the toilet. That show did a disastrous 0.56. The WWF’s attempts to make more money with the In Your House PPV’s resulted in IYH5 doing one of, if not the, worst buyrates in the companies history a paltry 0.3. Of course WCW wasn’t doing much better and Starrcade did a horrible 0.36. But with both companies struggling WCW had the chance to push to #1 because they had a billionaire’s backing while the WWF was on the verge of bankrupcy.
July 16th 1995. We’re in; well make that on, Huntington Beach, California. Hosts are Fat Tony & Bobby Heenan. Tony claims the largest crowd in WCW history. Hahaha. Still that many fans packed onto a beach makes for a great visual. Good job there wasn’t a storm or anything.
BACKSTAGE Gene Okerlund gets to interview the Stinger. He calls Meng a “bad, bad dude” who knows seven martial arts. Sting knows seven kinds of crazy and he’s at home on the beach with all the little Stingers and his family is at ringside. Sting is all kinds of worked up.
US title – Sting (c) v Meng w/Colonel Rob Parker
This would be a re-match from the tournament finals, which concluded at Great American Bash. Sting won that match with a leaping DDT, which is odd because Samoans have notorious hard heads. Sting starts really slowly, which makes no sense considering how worked up he was in the back. They have a brawl and it seems apparent that the fan reaction is going to suck today. It doesn’t help that the match sucks too. Sting gets slowly backed into the corner and Meng throws a few strikes before going to the nerve holds. Sting powers out but gets beaten down again. Meng chokes away in the corner for a while. Yawn. Nerve hold again while the crowd gets a “Sting” chant going. This was the show they taped a Baywatch episode at. More cross promotion from Eric Bischoff. For those who didn’t watch Baywatch, that was when Hogan teamed up with the Baywatch guys to save a youth centre with a charity match against Ric Flair. It was the episode where Stephanie discovered she had cancer. Just to keep it upbeat. Meng starts no selling stuff, which gets him strapped in the Scorpion Deathlock but Parker jumps on the apron to cause him to break it. Although you’d have to question why he did that. After all Parker can’t come into the ring or it’s a DQ and Sting wins anyway. Basically he ended up looking like a total dumb shit. So Meng, who was beaten, is able to grind away with some more vaguely dangerous submission attempts. Should have put a canopy over this ring those guys are dying in the heat. AND they have lights on. Why the fuck do they need lights on in the middle of a beach right by the Pacific Ocean? Meng with the old Shades of Wilbur Snyder. Wow, this is boring. Sting hits a sunset flip but Meng falls into the ropes. They do it back the other way but Sting jumps up and sits on Meng’s face. Crowd really dig that. Meng hooks up a crab but then just stops. Christ, they’re making sure this crowd has literally nothing to cheer about. Sting hits a back suplex and just stays down. Crowd is still out of it. Sting starts with a flurry of offence finally getting something the crowd can cheer before fucking up a chopblock. Thesz press gets 2. Sting with a rana, just about, for 2. Sting slowly climbs the ropes to hit a back elbow for 2. That was lame. Meng struggles back up but gets his feet up on the Stinger Splash for 2. That was a cool visual. That could easily have finished. Meng goes up to the second for a splash, which gets 2. He thought it was over, Meng that is. Meng misses a kick and Sting cradles him for the three count at 15.28. *1/2. Wow, was that ever boring. They were trying for the Vader push where a big nasty heel gets over by treating Sting like a bitch. BUT they forgot the most important part of the Vader push – he beat Sting. Meng didn’t, he lost twice in a row. Over the US title as well, which doesn’t really mean a lot. Meng was such a badass in real life that he’d probably get a huge push over it these days where backstage antics get turned into full blown storylines (Edge & Matt Hardy for example).
POST MATCH Meng continues the beat down until Roadwarrior Hawk strolls out to make sure Sting doesn’t get hurt. Pushing Hawk in singles was pretty dumb but WCW continued by later pushing Roadwarrior Animal as a singles guy too. Gotta love this company.
BACKSTAGE Jimmy Hart & the Renegade are all charged up too. Hart says everyone is talking about the Renegade. His “terminate on sight” catchphrase is damn awful. Okerlund says something about “standing room only” but there aren’t any seats! We’re on the beach!
TV title – Renegade (c) w/Jimmy Hart v Paul Orndorff
With Roma fired Orndorff got the chance to be a jobber instead. He was at the tail end of his career by this point. Boogie Woogie elbow scores early to no reaction. WCW never made anything of those goofy looking moves that had potential marketability (for instance the People’s Elbow got over huge in the WWE). Renegade hits a few clotheslines including one to the floor. Well, sand, because we’re on a beach. The crowd is actually chanting “Won-der-ful”. Tony talks about the potential abrasion danger of the sand. Yeah, that’ll cost you a match in no time. Sometimes I wonder if Tony even listened to himself talk. Heenan is well past the point of caring too so that makes the commentary borderline impossible to enjoy (I say borderline because even Heenan not giving a shit occasionally comes up with great stuff). Renegade with a shitty dropkick that even Tony calls as being bad. Orndorff falls outside and grabs a handful of sand, which he throws in Renegade’s eyes. Smart move. Impartial referee Nick Patrick was looking right at it btw demonstrating remarkable impartiality. Orndorff with a clothesline and Renegade can’t even sell that properly because he’s already blown up from his early bursts of offence. Orndorff then shows him how to hit a dropkick, which isn’t even one of his strong points. He goes for the piledriver but Renegade backdrops out. Another shitty dropkick from Renegade then an even worse one. If you can’t even get both your feet off the ground don’t do dropkicks. You don’t see Kevin Nash doing dropkicks do you? Crowd actively starts shitting on Renegade. It was like he was trying to prove he could throw a dropkick but he really can’t. He hits a back suplex for the pin at 6.11 and whoa was that ever a fucking dreadful abomination of a match. DUD. Hey, it’s WCW, we’ll push anyone!
POST MATCH Orndorff roughs Renegade up to a babyface reaction especially when he hits the piledriver. That SHOULD have been the sign for WCW to just give up with this guy. Anyway, Renegade shamelessly no sells the piledriver and hits a high crossbody that looks like shit and gets booed. Oh dear.
Kamala w/”Taskmaster” Kevin Sullivan v Jim Duggan
Speaking of “we’ll push anyone” here comes that long awaited push for Kamala. Complete with a ridiculous bit of OTT acting from Kevin Sullivan inducting him into the Dungeon of Doom. Quite how any of this shit got on TV is anyone’s guess. Kamala has only ever been a comedy guy even when he could be bothered, in Japan, and did something more than plod around the ring. Now he’s getting pushed as an evil heel as part of Sullivan’s daft Dungeon of Doom stable (voted worst in the world in 1995 by RSPW readers). Duggan’s push continues thanks to some hard work at the end of 1994. Unfortunately that hard work ended as soon as he got himself a niche in the company. Duggan hits a few clotheslines resulting in Kamala doing some serious limbo practice. One more clothesline knocks Kamala over and Duggan didn’t bother putting anything extra on it making the whole sequence utterly pointless. Sullivan is shouting “Hulkamaniac” and pointing at Duggan in an attempt to motivate Kamala into a main event push. Ahem. HAHAHAHAHA. BORE-HUG! Duggan stamps on Kamala’s feet to get out but misses a charge in the corner. Kamala hooks up the Somerfield Deathlock. Now there’s an in joke that no one will get. Duggan is too fat for it to work properly. Duggan with a slam and he calls for the Three Point Stance and hits it. Taskmaster jumps onto the apron resulting in referee distraction and the Zodiac Man, yes its Ed Leslie AGAIN, runs in to knock Duggan out. Kamala gets the pin at 6.06. DUD. WCW, we’ll push anyone!
SHILL - Tony plugs the Collision in Korea PPV, which has already been recorded. Inoki went over Flair with the Enzuigiri in the main event. Generally it’s seen as a nothing show in front of a huge crowd. Now that was a crowd up into the 100,000+ area.
BACKSTAGE Randy Savage is interviewed. He says he and Flair have “the chemistry to disagree”. He says the stylin’ and profilin’ is coming to an end today. He doesn’t care about the lumberjacks in this one because it’s about emotion, family and survival. He says he’s from Florida but he feels at home on any beach. The usual whackjob promo from Savage only slightly more coherent as I could understand some of the words.
VIDEO CLIPS – DDP wins $13M. The injured Evad Sullivan gets given a rabbit by Kimberly and Evad starts showing an emotional attachment to the Diamond Doll. At the last PPV Page managed to lose an arm wrestling match so Evad won a date with Kim. That didn’t go well as DDP cooked his rabbit for the date (not really). The WWF actually stole this program with Big Bossman and Al Snow’s dog Pepper.
Diamond Dallas Page w/Diamond Doll/Maxx Muscle v Evad Sullivan
Evad stuffs some roses into DDP’s face to start. How romantic. Evad suplexes DDP back inside. Another suplex. Evad starts jumping around to no reaction. He eyes up Kim but DDP jumps him from behind. They plod through some more stuff in the corner. Evad hooks up a BORE-HUG. When that’s a highlight it’s a worry. DDP misses a charge and crotches himself. “Could be worse…could be me” – Heenan. The crowd is starting to throw crap at the ring because they’re bored. Evad just isn’t over like say Eugene. The WWE seems to have done a better job re-hashing WCW gimmicks then you’d think (the retard thing got almost no reaction in WCW but Eugene got himself over huge for a few months at least). Evad goes for the finish but Muscle jumps onto the apron. That’s enough distraction for the DIAMOND CUTTER and it’s over at 4.22. DUD. I would point out that WCW would push anyone but DDP ended up being quite good. Not sure how that happened but I think it was more luck on WCW’s part than anything else. Sooner or later if you push anyone you’ll end up pushing the right anyone by sheer good fortune.
BACKSTAGE The Nasty Boys cut a shouty promo. Knobbs just stands there screaming during Saggs promo about his nasty sensation. Urgh.
BACKSTAGE Harlem Heat cut a promo too with Sherri Martel talking about how cohesive the Heat unit is. That segues into a promo video of the Blue Bloods checking out Hollyweird. Regal finds the spot where Hugh Grant got caught with Divine Brown. Then it’s off to the Viper Room to check out the spot where River Phoenix died. Um, yeah, these gags are coming thick and fast. Next they check out Nicole Simpson’s house and Eaton stumbles across a knife in the hedge. They find Sir Lawrence Oliver’s walk of fame spot and it’s outside a strip joint. They find a pub and go for a few beers. Hey, that’s what the English do! At least they got that part right.
Tag titles – Harlem Heat (c) w/Sister Sherri v Nasty Boys v Blue Bloods
Seeing as WCW has booked Heat v Nasties into the ground they’ve added the entertaining Blue Bloods into the mix. Unfortunately the Nasty Boys are still out there to drag it down and none of these teams have any chemistry. Crowd is torn between the Nasties and the increasingly popular heel duo of Harlem Heat. All three coin toss with the odd team out being out of this at the start. Somehow they manage to screw up a gimmicked coin toss so they have to do it again before the Blue Bloods are ordered out to start. Excessive stalling leads to a brawl involving all three teams anyway. Regal takes the Pit Stop. Poor guy. One for Eaton too. Booker chokes away at Knobbs while shouting abuse at the crowd. Knobbs comes back with a clothesline that Booker does a ridiculous 360 sell on. That only works for me when there’s genuine power behind the initial move. Regal finds himself worked over by the champs. Sherri decks Eaton after he tags in. Saggs tags in blind and puts a beating on Stevie Ray. He gets clubbered in the corner. Sadly Dusty isn’t out here to call it. No wait, that should read “thankfully”. The fans are still throwing crap at the ring. Nice to see the classy guys you get when you run a show on a goram beach. More tags, none of which have any rhyme or reason to them. The Nasties are generally trying to work over the champs more but that’s about it. I’m really only interested in the Regal-Booker match up that never seems to come. Although it’s pretty fun watching Regal throw European uppercuts on Stevie. Eaton comes in for palm strikes. Not of a Jushin Liger level but kinda fun. Knobbs takes a beatdown from the Blue Bloods while Heenan tries to figure out the rules of this thing. Look, whoever wins is going to win the belts. It’s not a hard concept. Knobbs just stops selling then starts again for no apparent reason. Regal goes for a sunset flip but Knobbs sits on him for 2. Saggs tags in to clean house. Crowd is so dead. Too busy fighting off melanomas, I guess. Regal ends up taking splashes off both Nasties but in between they backdrop Stevie Ray onto Regal and pin both of them at 13.08. LOGICALLY the Nasty Boys win right? Wrong, this is WCW. Logic has nothing to do with it. Because Stevie was pinning Regal that means Harlem Heat retain. Riiiiiiiight. What? *. That makes no sense.
BACKSTAGE Harlem Heat quickly make their way to the interview area. Sherri points out they were far more cohesive and were clearly the best team. Okerlund points out that Bunkhouse Buck and Dick Slater have a title shot. Booker says they’ll wrestle anyone. They don’t care.
Randy Savage v Ric Flair
This is billed as a lifeguard match because we’re on a beach but it’s just a lumberjack match to keep Flair in the ring. Tony & Heenan have their best altercation of the evening with Heenan trying to prove he’s right about Savage being a coward. Flair has a pre-match promo where he talks about Elizabeth leaving Savage for him. He also slapped Savage’s Dad around. He didn’t kill Savage’s favourite cousin but that’s about all he came up short on. We have a bunch of REALLY hot Baywatch extras out here around the ring. Johnny B Badd, Arn Anderson, Evad, Buck, Slater, DDP, Maxx Muscle and an assortment of others are lumberjacks. They actually screw up the opening lock up before Savage starts with the punches but he looks oddly short on energy. Flair takes a few clotheslines and gets clotheslined to the floor. The lumberjacks toss him back in. Savage gets on with the corner punches but Flair drops him atomically. Flair with his patented chops before chucking Savage outside. The Nasty Boys and Jim Duggan make sure he gets right back in without getting a kicking. They slug it out with Flair hitting a few chops but Savage fires back with jabs and elbows. Flair tries to suplex Savage inside but Savage counters and suplexes him to the floor. The crowd are still throwing crap at the ring. Flair with a sleeper. Savage elbows out but gets caught right back in it. Savage drags Flair face first into the buckles instead. Savage has been slightly worn down by those though so Flair tosses him to the floor again. Flair tries, something, but lands his jaw on Savage’s head. Savage with his own sleeper, which Flair jawbreakers out of. Flair starts on the leg with the rolling leg snap. Figure Four is on. Savage nearly gets himself pinned in that. We see Angelo Poffo at ringside. Damn, he looks old. Savage turns the Figure Four over. Flair breaks the hold. Flair gets punched out of the ring and tries to run away but the lumberjacks stop him. Savage goes up top for the double axe handle. Arn Anderson jumps into the ring but Savage decks him too. Flair gets himself backdropped outside but the Nasties catch him and throw him back in. But Arn is in the ring again and he hits a DDT on Savage. Flair pins…for 2. Savage is back up with a backdrive, according to Tony, for 2. That’d be a backslide then. Flair up top but Savage throws him off. Flair gets slammed a few times and Savage is up top for the SAVAGE ELBOW, which gets the pin at 13.54. **. Ponderous effort from two great wrestlers. The first sign that Savage was starting to slow up, badly, and Flair was going that way too.
Tony’s main event jabbering gets Rick Rude’s theme music played over it and likes it. Did I ever mention that I really like that piece of music?
BACKSTAGE Vader rants about it being Vader Time. Or perhaps jobbing time. Or time to go to the WWF. Vader points out he bled, sweat and cried here in LA. While Hogan was in his gym, Vader was on the streets. Vader tells Hogan he’s nowhere left to run unless a fancies a swim in the Pacific. They SO should have done that. Brawled into the ocean. Would have made for a great visual. Tony plugs the Korea show again. You do realise this was filmed in April, don’t you?
BACKSTAGE Hogan gets promo time too. He has Dennis Rodman here with him. Hogan talks about riding Harley Davidson’s around California looking for a fight. Can’t have been looking too hard. Hogan seems to think the Baywatch babes will distract Vader. Hogan intends to press slam Vader over the top of the cage, into the ocean and have the sharks eat him. Er, what? He has Rodman watching his back or “Rod the Bod” as Hogan calls him. Also “the baddest dude around”. Yeah, he’s sure a dude alright. If you’re using the 1880’s Western use of the word. Head off to the Dude Ranch, Rodman.
WCW title – Hulk Hogan (c) w/Dennis Rodman/Jimmy Hart v Vader
Odd the BABYFACE needs two guys out here while Vader is alone. This is a cage match. Hogan chokes Vader with his shirt and makes him look like a total chump from the off. Hogan stands on the top rope and stamps on Vader’s head a few times. The more you see of Vader here, the worse his condition appears to be. He’s clearly overweight and not in good shape at all. He takes Hogan into the corner and hits a few punches. Hogan doesn’t sell as big as Sting did for it, just as he would for anyone else. Vader has left his headpiece thing, which used to scare kids in Japan, in the cage. Hogan runs him into it and then wears it to headbutt Vader a few times. God, that was lame. Vader overpowers Hogan on a weak Irish whip spot then hits the Vaderbomb. No pin attempt. Vaderbomb #2 gets 2. Hogan pops out of two finishers but doesn’t Hulk up because it’s far too early for that. Vader with a suplex and he doesn’t bother bumping with it, just dumping Hogan over his shoulder. Vader looks for the ropes but Hogan jumps him and throws him into the cage. Hogan goes for a slam but can’t get Vader up. Dumbass. Vader goes all the way up and misses with a SENTON. Good grief that would have destroyed a few internal organs. Hogan weakly slugs away saying “you ain’t nothin’” at Vader. Hogan, like a jackass, goes for the slam again and this time Vader just falls on him for 2. Vader goes to a lengthy chinlock. Hogan gets bored with that and we have a slugfest. Won by Hogan with a lame clothesline. He really isn’t trying at all. This is bad for even Hogan. He finally manages to slam Vader but sells the back on it. Vader with a splash off the second rope for 2 and this time Hogan does that Hulking up shit. He ignores Vader’s punches and the temptation must have been there to stiff him. Hogan blocks a few attempts to run him into the cage. This crowd is woeful. It’s not reacting for anything. Hogan with the big boot but Vader stays up. Another really low boot knocks him over. That’s the cue for Taskmaster and Zodiac to run out here but Rodzilla runs them off. Yeah, your heel stable is SO badass you can’t even get by a basketball player. In the ring Hogan drops the big leg and poses like a jerk. Hogan opts, for some reason, to climb out instead of pinning. Vader gets back up but Hogan elbows him off and climbs out for the anticlimactic finish at 13.09. *1/4. Vader deserved better than that. Sure he was leaving the company but what a waste of the Vader feud. Basically everyone in the company is an idiot.
POST MATCH Ric Flair runs out here to complain about what a loser Vader is. Vader gets pissed off but Arn Anderson runs in to save Flair. Of course Vader then left the company so we don’t get Flair-Vader II we instead get Flair v…Arn? Yeah. I guess they got nothing else.
The 411: Fucking pathetic. I’ve seen better XPW shows. If it weren’t for the atrocity that was Uncensored this would be hands down the worst PPV of the year. Actually it might not even be as bad as King of the Ring. It’s scary to think the same year produced all three of those shows. Possibly the three worst major wrestling events of all time. Seriously now, don’t be tempted to check this out because people are getting all nostalgic about WCW. It just sucks. Steer clear.