On This Day: July 12, 1998 – Bash at the Beach 1998: Shoot For The Stars
Date: July 12, 1998
Location: Cox Arena, San Diego, California
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan
Remember that horrible main event last year with an NBA player in it? Well this one has two NBA players. Yes this time it’s DDP/Karl Malone vs. Hogan/Rodman. At least there’s a world title match here though as this is 6 days after Goldberg beat Hogan for the title so he’s got Hennig tonight. Also the annoying Kevin Greene is back because we need MORE non-wrestling athletes. Let’s get to it.
The opening video more or less just lists off the participants in the matches I just told you.
The announcers talk forever about how huge this is.
Raven vs. Perry Saturn
Raven’s Rules of course. This is the beginning of the Saturn frees the Flock stuff. Lodi is dressed like Hat Guy. Riggs is with Raven and let’s talk about the main event. I mean we gave them a full half second after the bell rang to be about them. They fight outside and Raven goes into the railing. Into the ring and Saturn slips off the top. He catches himself on the mat though and hits a dropkick.
Saturn throws on a hold and Raven taps but it doesn’t count for whatever reason. He misses a guillotine legdrop though and Raven is able to get a table. Saturn manages to crotch him but misses a dive and lands on the floor again. Raven hits the Russian leg sweep into the railing. Sleeper doesn’t get Raven anywhere as Saturn gets a jawbreaker to counter.
Raven gets drilled in the corner with a bunch of kicks and now a suplex. Saturn grabs a chair and bashes Raven with it a few times but only gets two. Saturn sets for something but Riggs and Lodi come in for the save. Perry suplexes them both at once to send them flying and accidentally drills the referee. Out to the floor and Raven gets bulldogged into the steps. Saturn sets up another table and puts a table on top of him.
Saturn goes up top but Kanyon comes out and pulls Raven off the table before Saturn jumps. Saturn jumps anyway so are we supposed to believe Saturn just couldn’t see it? Seriously? Saturn mostly misses the tables anyway so he wouldn’t have hit Raven even if Kanyon hadn’t moved him. Kanyon hits a Flatliner (Downward Spiral) on Raven onto the chair. Saturn is rolled in and Raven gets two. Riggs comes in again and takes a DVD but the opening allows Raven to get the Evenflow DDT to end this.
Rating: C+. Some of the bumps here were pretty good but these two had the same match for like a year. This wasn’t too bad though, although the table bump was really stupid looking due to the total miss and Saturn looking like a total idiot. This feud would go on a few more months until Saturn freed the Flock, more or less ending their usefulness outside of Kidman.
Eddie says he’ll win his hair vs. hair match against Chavo because Chavo is insane. Also Chavo has a match with Stevie Ray before he has to face Eddie.
Juventud Guerrera vs. Kidman
Not a title match here. Just a cruiserweight match for the sake of having a cruiserweight match. Juvy is a face and Kidman is a part of the Flock. They lock up to start and then slug it out for a bit before Kidman grabs a headlock. A lot of speed to start and Juvy takes over with a set of chops and a headscissors, followed by a clothesline to the floor. Lodi saves a big dive by Juvy and hits him with “Lethal” (Tony’s word not mine) forearms to the back.
Kidman misses a dive so Juvy shows him how it’s done, taking out Lodi and Kidman. He kicks Lodi’s hat and the fans boo. Back in the ring for another counter sequence but this one ends better for Kidman as he hits a wheelbarrow suplex. Out to the floor and Kidman picks him up for what looks like a powerbomb but drops Juvy backwards to clothesline him on the railing.
Kidman goes to the apron and dives into the railing by mistake to shift the momentum again. Juvy gets a sunset bomb to the floor after some resistance from Kidman. Tony of course calls it a sidewalk slam because he’s an idiot. Back in the ring Kidman uses a low blow to break up a top rope rana and hits a sitout spinebuster off the top in a cool move. It only gets two and we hit a well deserved chinlock.
More chopping and ducking follow and Juvy gets a rollup for two. Juvy gets tossed to the floor so Kidman goes up to dive. Juvy gets up for the save and Kidman gets crotched, followed by a springboard rana for two. Juvy gets a Rock Bottom suplex for two. Kidman pops up to hit a springboard bulldog for two (think Stratusfaction). Pinfall reversal sequence doesn’t go anywhere but Kidman walks into the Juvy Driver for two. Juvy charges at Kidman and gets caught in a spinebuster. Kidman misses the Shooting Star and the miss is enough for Juvy to get the 450 for the pin.
Rating: B. Really good match here as this is what the cruiserweights were supposed to be about: just going out there and going insane, hitting all kinds of stuff you wouldn’t see elsewhere. Kidman would get a lot better and Juvy would decline a bit as a heel but this was still awesome stuff. Really liked it as they just went out and had a good match. What more can you ask of them?
Konnan is on an internet chat. Konnan on the internet is never a good thing. Just ask X.
Stevie Ray vs. Chavo Guerrero
Not sure why Stevie was picked but this was so that Chavo wouldn’t be at 100% to face Eddie later. Chavo is crazy at this point. He comes out with a water gun and an inner tube around his stomach. Eddie comes out with some scissors to great heat. Chavo dedicates this to his favorite wrestler, Eddie Guerrero. The hair vs. hair match is right after this. Chavo avoids Stevie then poses and dances. He offers a handshake which Stevie actually accepts. While in the handshake, Chavo submits. Apparently Chavo is crazy like a psycho.
Chavo Guerrero vs. Eddie Guerrero
Chavo bites him to start as Mike talks about the significance of hair vs. hair in Mexico. Now Chavo dances some more as we haven’t had any significant contact in the first two minutes or so. Eddie gets a chair and that doesn’t work of course. Chavo sits in said chair and maybe now we can get a match? Eddie offers a handshake and Chavo takes it, pulling him into a clothesline.
We finally get going after two and a half minutes. Backdrop to Eddie so he hides with the referee. Chavo bites him again as this isn’t much of a match for the first three and a half minutes so far. Eddie gets a dropkick to the knee and fires off some shoulders to the back. Slingshot hilo has Chavo in more trouble. After nothing of note on the floor there’s the Gory Special to Chavo. Nice touch.
Camel clutch goes on. Did someone grab a camel in that once and say it seemed like a good name for a wrestling match? Out to the floor and Eddie rams his head into the steps. There go the mats at ringside and Eddie wants a brainbuster. Chavo counters into a regular suplex and Eddie is in trouble. The younger one goes up and is crotched so Eddie hits a superplex to put both guys down.
Chavo gets the advantage and tries a frog splash but Eddie gets the knees up just in time. Eddie tries Chavo’s tornado DDT and this time it hits, allowing Eddie to grab some scissors before it’s time. Frog splash by Eddie misses and now Chavo hits the tornado DDT. He grabs the scissors, allowing Eddie to get a small package for the pin.
Rating: C. Not as good as you would expect here as they were kind of all over the place. The comedy at the beginning didn’t work and they were more or less mirroring each other after that. It’s not bad but for Chavo vs. Eddie you kind of expect a lot more than what you got here.
Post match Chavo goes insane and cuts his own hair while he makes sound effects. He plays the psycho really well.
Apparently Malenko vs. Jericho is off due to Malenko snapping and beating up Jericho on Nitro. Jericho will defend the title against a mystery opponent later tonight.
Konnan vs. Disco Inferno
This is an added bonus match. It’s a Wrestlezone special I guess. Disco is billed from Funkytown of all places. Alex Wright is with Disco here and tries to speak some Spanish. Thankfully Mike and Tony are here to tell us they can’t speak Spanish. Where would we be without them to explain jokes to us? Nash and Luger are with Konnan. Gee I wonder what’s going to happen. Nash talks for awhile to eat up more time.
Disco gets beaten down quickly which shouldn’t surprise anyone. We hear about Disco’s legit good resume in wrestling which is often forgotten. Disco gets in some jobber offense as it’s pretty clear what we’ve got on our hands here. Wright gets in some shots while Luger/Nash aren’t thrilled with it. There’s a Rack for Wright and a powerbomb for Disco. Tequila Sunrise ends this squash.
The Giant vs. Kevin Greene
Giant is black and white and Greene is here because WCW isn’t that smart. Greene is a guy that wasn’t that skilled but he was clearly having a blast out there and wanted to be out there doing this. He runs a lot which is smart strategy. Greene kicks the rope into the Little Giants and tries some punches in the corner but gets caught in a spinebuster (called a gutwrench waistlock slam by Tony) and the beating begins.
The fans chant for Goldberg but he’s not coming for a bit longer. The scary thing about Giant here is that he’s 26 years old. Bobby implies that Giant might be able to reach Andre’s undefeated streak. Dude, seriously? Greene tries a comeback and a headbutt stops that cold. After a brief thing on the floor Greene hits a forearm off the top and goes after the knee. He charges out of the corner into the chokeslam though and we’re done.
Rating: C+. This grade isn’t the same as I would use for a regular wrestling match. This was a wrestler vs. a football player and considering that, this was pretty good actually. Greene wasn’t supposed to be anything special and he was trying, which is exactly what he was supposed to do. Nothing great mind you, but all things considered this was fine.
Hennig says he can beat Goldberg.
We recap Malenko losing his title shot after Jericho cost him a match and then implied that Dean’s dad slept around and that his mother was a whore.
Cruiserweight Title: Chris Jericho vs. ???
Jericho doesn’t know who he’s facing and he comes out in a top hat with a cane and does a softshoe routine. JJ Dillon comes out and makes the match. Apparently it’s with a local kid that hasn’t wrestled in six months. It’s also No DQ still which was to be the stipulation with Malenko.
Cruiserweight Title: Chris Jericho vs. Rey Mysterio
Rey takes over to start and is more muscular than he used to be. After a bit on the floor, Jericho gets a shot to the knee back in the ring. Jericho has apparently had enough and goes up to the set, more or less ending the interesting part of the match. They fight up a lifeguard chair and Rey dives onto Jericho on the sand. Back to the ring and Jericho gets a nice powerslam off the top (called a top rope powerslam by Tony. Wait that was correct. I need a minute to recover from that one).
Jericho tries to Pillmanize the leg but Rey moves, sending Jericho crashing into the chair. Rey swings away at it and dropkicks it into the knee. Jericho is in trouble all of a sudden and a facejam looks to set up the West Coast Pop. Liontamer is blocked and Rey gets to the ropes. Here comes Malenko as Jericho tries the Liontamer again. Rey rolls through for the pin and the title. Note here that Malenko DID NOT TOUCH JERICHO. He wasn’t in the ring, he wasn’t within 20 feet of the ring.
Rating: C-. Not much here at all but the opening was good. After that the whole thing changed and given that the match was only about six minutes long, I’m not sure what was going on here. Rey didn’t look completely comfortable on the knee so maybe that was it. Also, the reason to note Dean’s lack of involvement was the title would be returned to Jericho the next night due to Dean’s “interference”.
Malenko and Jericho fight to the back as Jericho tries to escape.
TV Title: Bret Hart vs. Booker T
Bret still hasn’t really done anything so let’s take that big acquisition and put him in the lower midcard and in the NWO. You know, because he’s just another guy. Booker is champion if that wasn’t clear. They head to the mat and Bret comes out ahead there. Booker gets a cross body for two. Bret is sent to the floor and is in trouble already. He does manage to take over on the floor and takes over back inside.
Booker is still in trouble as they go outside. He goes into the railing and Bret rams his back into the post which isn’t a DQ somehow. Five Moves of Doom get some two counts. This is really boring. Booker tries his Jack Brisco sunset flip out of the corner but botches it badly. Booker gets a kick to put Bret down and follows it up with the axe kick and Bret is down. There’s a flapjack and Booker spins up. Missile dropkick gets two. And never mind as Bret hits Booker with a chair for a DQ. Give me a break.
Rating: D-. Just a really boring match here as Bret continues to be totally wasted. I mean seriously, Booker T is good but at this point he should have bowed down to Bret and thanked him for beating him for the TV Title. Bret would FINALLY get something a few weeks later, winning the vacant US Title. Still though, this was really bad and the ending hurt it horribly.
Bret destroys the knee until Stevie walks out and tells him to stop.
Video on Goldberg who won the title six days ago. Also Hall got destroyed earlier in the night. The video makes it look like Goldberg squashed Hall in about 9 seconds. I still can’t believe they just had Goldberg beat Hogan on 4 days’ notice for the title on free TV. But hey, they managed to beat Raw for one night. Who cares that it would have brought in hundreds of thousands of buys and millions of dollars on PPV?
WCW World Title: Goldberg vs. Curt Hennig
This was added during the week, probably on Thunder. Hennig of course bounces around like a pinball. Goldberg tries his rolling leg lock and messes it up so Curt hits the floor. He tries to go up top and that totally fails. Hennig tries to go after the leg and spends a minute or so doing that as the fans chant for the champion. This time Goldberg manages to get the leg lock but walks into the Perfectplex for two. Spear and Jackhammer end this maybe a second later.
Rating: D. Just a squash here which isn’t what is supposed to happen on a PPV in a world title match. It wasn’t anything we hadn’t seen a hundred times (literally) before. Goldberg would mow through everyone until the idiocy of Halloween Havoc and the further idiocy of Starrcade. Nothing match here that wasn’t even four minutes long.
We recap the main event. Basically WCW decided to bring in celebrities for the sake of bringing in celebrities, making the main event wrestler/NBA player vs. wrestler/NBA player. Allegedly Rodman wasn’t seen until a few hours before show time and was in no condition to perform here. Did I mention this match is going to have half an hour to fill?
Hulk Hogan/Dennis Rodman vs. Diamond Dallas Page/Karl Malone
I actually watched this show when it aired with a buddy of mine and he said it looked like Malone and Page jumped into a vat of glue with their jeans on. I think he’s onto something with that theory. For some reason the heels’ music changes from Voodoo Child to the traditional NWO song halfway through their entrance. Malone comes out to some bad rap song. Dang he has long arms.
The basketball players start us off and it’s time to stall. Minute and a half of no contact yet. Test of strength is teased but Malone slaps Rodman’s hand away. It was Malone’s idea mind you. Two minutes in now and no real contact. They lock up and Rodman grabs a headlock. And never mind as we need to stall some more as Rodman goes to the floor. 2:45 in now with a headlock being all the contact. The world title match was 3:50. Off to Hogan vs. Malone and they have a pose off. Test of strength is teased….and doesn’t happen.
This match is officially longer than the world title match and we’ve had a total of one headlock. I actually want to see how far they can take this. At 4:12, they lock up. Malone puts on a hold that I don’t have an actual name for. It’s kind of like a headlock I guess. Picture a guy setting for a left armed Rock Bottom and clasping his arms around and kind of holding them there. Malone slams him (not bad) and it’s off to Page. I don’t think I’ve ever been happier to see DDP in a match.
Page of course wants Rodman because we haven’t been bored enough yet. They lock up and it’s time to stall AGAIN. The fans chant boring and I can’t blame them. We’re at 6:00 now and here’s what’s happened so far: headlock, tieup, that hold Malone did, slam and another tieup. Seriously, NOTHING ELSE HAS HAPPENED. Jericho vs. Mysterio was 6:00 and it was bad, but at least it was a match.
They tieup again and Page shoves him off again. Page and Rodman spit at each other as we add an “armdrag” to the list of what’s gone on. This is now longer than Giant vs. Greene. The announcers freak and Hogan struts on the apron. Page grabs a headlock and even Tony is saying this is something of note finally. They collide and Rodman goes down. Another lockup and Rodman puts on headlock #4 as we hit the 8:00 mark.
We now see why Rodman is either drunk, high, or just awful at this. Rodman has a headlock on and Page tries to shoot him into the ropes. That’s a counter that I’m sure you’ve seen hundreds of times. Nothing special about it and perfectly normal. Rodman falls down and pulls Page with him, resulting in Page getting a two count. This is just embarrassing at this point. Actually it was embarrassing five minutes ago.
Page now with a head/chin lock and gets sent into the ropes. Rodman rams him with a shoulder block….and falls forward, allowing Page to get two again. Fans are openly booing now as Malone comes in. Rodman never gets up and tags Hogan. Hogan puts on a top wristlock which is shrugged off by Malone. Malone obviously isn’t skilled, but he’s trying and is fired up out there, which is really all you can ask for.
We’re over ten minutes in now and somehow that’s not even halfway through. Rodman actually does something as he hits a double axe to Malone to give Hulk the advantage. Hogan chokes a lot as you have to wonder why DDP vs. Hogan hasn’t gotten more time. I mean, they actually, know how to wrestle and such. Hogan slams him and drops some elbows. Back to Rodman who looks sleepy.
Rodman rams Malone into Hogan’s boot and it’s back to Hulk. Malone’s selling is pretty good actually. Off to a chinlock for a bit and Rodman comes in to hold Malone. Hogan punches Malone and Rodman falls down. Belly to back to Malone with Hogan making sure to be as careful as possible. Malone finally gets the hot tag to Page and he comes in off the top with a clothesline.
Things wake up for about 15 seconds until Rodman knees him in the back to let Hulk take over again. There’s the weightlifting belt to Page’s back. This is so boring it’s unreal. Double clothesline puts Page down. Hogan chokes him in the corner as we’re finally in a regular match with more than a move every three minutes. And never mind as that’s enough for Hogan so it’s off to Dennis again.
The heels seem like they don’t want to stay in the ring at all. Hogan suplexes Page and it’s back to The Worm. The fans chant for Page who at least fights back. Rodman puts a front chancery on as Malone plays cheerleader. The heels switch without a tag and the legdrop misses. Off to Malone who does some very basic stuff but does it well enough, all things considered. Double noggin knocker puts the heels down.
Malone hits a big boot and it’s not bad at all. Off to Page again and there’s the Diamond Cutter to FINALLY wake the crowd up. Malone hits what is supposed to be a Diamond Cutter on Rodman but was more like he grabbed Rodman’s shirt and pulled him down with it. The referee has to get Malone out so Disciple comes in to hit a Stunner on Page for Hogan to get the cheap pin.
Rating: N. As in no or not acceptable. This was the match that the show was sold on and it was atrocious. The idea of putting celebrities in the main event, even athletic ones, is stupid for one simple reason: they can’t wrestle. They’re not trained to do it and they don’t know how to do it.
Having Malone and Rodman as seconds or enforcers or whatever while Page and Hogan have a match is fine, but having like 8 minutes of stalling because they don’t know what to do isn’t fine. This is on WCW, not Rodman who at least showed something resembling interest (despite failing completely) and Malone who was trying. Horrible, HORRIBLE main event and match in general.
Malone hits a much better Diamond Cutter on Disciple post match. The referee gets one too as the NWO celebrates.
Overall Rating: D-. This is a fine example of how short term thinking can mess up a whole show. This was all messed up because the two big matches, as in the world title and main event, were either bad or really short due to the booking being changed or stupid from the beginning. The rest of the card is just your run of the mill WCW show which means it’s mostly weak with a good match sprinkled in here or there. Overall though this felt awful and like a nothing show, which isn’t good. Somehow it would get even worse next month with Hogan/Bischoff vs. DDP/Jay Leno. We’ll get to that later.
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I actually remember going to this (We sat behind the announcer booth 1st row). After just re watching now 15 years later, its sad to see how horrible the main event was. Just awful. I forgot that Bret Hart was even there. Just goes to show how mis used he was.