This will be the first of what will be many shows that I'll be reviewing on the blog now that I have the WWE Network, which I highly recommend. It's truly awesome and with the $9.99 a month price-tag there is no reason for you not to get it.
Also, this is the first time I've watched a full WCW PPV from start to finish, so I figured that I would start with probably the most famous WCW PPV of all time.
WCW Bash at the Beach 1996
Daytona Beach, Florida 7/7/96
The commentators are Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, Tony Schiavone, and "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes. I gotta say that I enjoyed this commentary team. Heenan is especially awesome.
1.) Psychosis vs. Rey Misterio Jr.: ****1/2
Mike Tenay joins the commentary team for this match because of his knowledge of international wrestling. This is my first time watching a match between these two, and it's especially significant because it was the many matches Misterio & Psychosis had that helped bring the Lucha Libre style to the United States. Simply put, this was a freaking awesome opener!! They definitely lived up to all the hype I've heard about their matches. Just awesome stuff from bell to bell, that at the time, was so different. Just awesome stuff here.
2.) Carson City Silver Dollar Match - Big Bubba Rogers (with Jimmy Hart) vs. John Tenta: ¼*
For those of you who don't know, Big Bubba Rogers is The Big Bossman. It's so weird seeing John Tenta in here as just plain old John Tenta, without any gimmicks. Basically, their is a sock (yes, you read that right, and actual sock) filled with silver dollars hanging on top of a very tall poll. Once you grab it, you can legally use it in the match. This might be one of the worse matches I've ever seen. Bossman wasn't good (which is funny because when he went back to the WWE in 1998 as part of Mr. McMahon's Corporation he reached the height of his career) and Tenta looked like he'd come out of a several year retirement. Also, why put two massive men in an "Object on a Pole" Match with a pole that's so high they'll never be able to climb up?!?! This defy's logic!!! Keep in mind, this was a whole THREE YEARS before Vince Russo came to WCW. Stupid gimmick. Horrid Match.
3.) Taped Fist Match - DDP vs. “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan: **¼
So they're fighting with Taped Fists? Whatever. At least this match was actually decent. We did get some unique offense, which looked nice. It's weird (I'll probably say that a lot) seeing Duggan in...decently good shape, since all I've really seen of him is his various appearances overs the years in current WWE. Again, actually a decent match.
4.) Double Dog Collar Match - Public Enemy vs. The Nasty Boys: **¾
Public Enemy were an ECW staple before WCW signed them away, and they've brought this Hardcore Style with them. You'd think this would be bad, but this was actually quite entertaining, and I'd never thought I'd say that about a match involving The Nasty Boys. Their were some funny moments in here, including Dusty Rhodes using the terms "Double Trouble Bash At The Beach Bubble" and yelling about the use of a rubber shark that's been made famous by Botchamania. The Table failing to break at the end hurt the match a bit (and didn't break until AFTER the match....Stupid Japanese Table) but the match was pretty entertaining other than that.
5.) WCW Cruiserweight Title - Dean Malenko vs. Disco Inferno: ***½
Oh boy, Dean Malenko is in the house. S**t's about to get real. I gotta admit, I came into this with the preconceived notion that Disco was just a buffoon with a silly gimmick who couldn't wrestle. Boy, was I wrong. These two had a really good match. Disco took a ton of punishment but kept coming, and even got a comeback in on Malenko, but the Man of 1000 Holds would come out on top.
6.) Joe Gomez vs. Steve “Mongo” McMichael (with Queen Debra): ½*
McMichael, another person who's probably more famous from his "Here Comes Mongo" Segments on Botchamania, if a former NFL Football Player who's recently transitioned into wrestling. This is actually McMichael's first singles match. It was crap. Nothing else to say.
7.) WCW United States Title - Konnan vs. Ric Flair (with Miss Elizabeth & Woman): **¼
Konnan is a guy who I came to know from TNA. I've always knew he wrestled in WCW but I've never actually seen any of his matches. Here he's defending the United States Title against "Nature Boy" Ric Flair. He's accompanied by Miss Elizabeth & Woman (the future Nancy Benoit). The match itself was ok, but it had a stupid finish that I think really hurt it. Flair wins the US Title.
8.) The Four Horsemen (Arn Anderson & Chris Benoit) vs. The Dungeon of Doom (WCW World Champion The Giant & The Taskmaster): *¾
So I guess The Four Horsemen & The Dungeon of Doom are in a feud? Apparently if Anderson & Benoit win, then one of the Four Horsemen will get a future shot at The Giant's WCW World Title. This is also my first time seeing The Big Show pre-WWE as The Giant in WCW. The match was kind of boring. The Giant won the match for his team but it felt kind of meaningless.
After the match, Benoit continues to attack The Taskmaster (Kevin Sullivan) and Woman pleads with him to stop until The Giant runs him off.
9.) The Outsiders (Scott Hall & Kevin Nash) & ????? vs. Lex Lugar, Sting & “Macho Man” Randy Savage: ***½
Both at the start of the show and before this match, we got two really good video packages highlighting what led to this Main Event. We also got the commentators & "Mean" Gene Okerlund building up and speculating all night on who the "Third Man" was. I gotta say, WCW did an AWESOME job building up this match and the reveal of the "Third Man".
Kevin Nash & Scott Hall come out but their third man is not with them. Okerlund asks them where he is, and they say he's here but they don't need him yet. Team WCW is united, as Lugar & Savage are wearing matching face paint with Sting (who is Pre-Crow Sting here).
The match itself actually was pretty good. It had some really good action and with all the hype surrounding it, it told a really good story. Luger got carried out on a stretcher early when he was accidentally taken out by Sting, who's Stinger Splash took out Kevin Nash, who was holding Lugar, and caused his head to hit the turnbuckle. This match it essentially two-on-two with Hall/Nash vs. Sting/Savage. At one point, all four-men were down, and Hulk Hogan comes to the ring!!! Hall & Nash scatter, but we all know what happens next. Hogan hit's the Leg Drop on Savage and reveals himself as the Third Man. They take out the ref and the match is a No-Contest.
I won't go over Hogan's post match promo, because it's been seen a million times by now. It was really cool to see the fans throwing all that trash in the ring during his promo. The commentators were great throughout this whole thing as well.
Now this might seem high for a PPV that had a few bad matches on it, so let me explain myself. Just to be clear, my original rating was 7.0/10 (just on the matches) but I gave it an extra 0.5 based solely on the ending with Hogan's Heel Turn, because it was that great. Match Quality wise, it was really mixed bag. You had really great matches, and they you had really shitty matches. The hype surrounding the Third Man was extremely well executed by WCW (both in the video packages and by the commentators) and the Hulk Hogan heel turn and the formation of the New World Order is one of the greatest moments in the history of pro-wrestling, so just based on that alone, this gets an easy recommendation. You can skip the crap on here, and just watch the good stuff.