Bash at the Beach 1999: When Greatness Isn’t Enough

Bash at the Beach 1999
: July 11, 1999
: National Car Rental Center, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
: 13,624
Commentators: Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone

We’re going in a new direction at this point in WCW as the promotion has gone from really boring to freaking insane in the course of a few weeks. A good chunk of this show was booked within the last few weeks and knowing the stories isn’t likely going to help me get through it. Let’s get to it.

I’ve actually seen this show far more often than I should as I found it at a Blockbuster for $2 when I was about thirteen. It took many years to suppress those memories but here we go again.

The opening video is a wordless montage about the four men in the main event. I mean, if there’s one story that doesn’t need a verbal explanation, it’s one about Savage and Sid trying to kill Nash and then the heroic champion kidnapping and potentially raping Gorgeous George, causing Savage to throw her out of their dressing room with a side plot of Sting potentially driving the Hummer that nearly killed Nash and then Nash changing the rules of the tag match so that anyone, including his partner, can pin him for the title. Also for some reason they air the video then show it about five more times as a very fast speed.

Tony says the tag match tonight started as a tag match. It was once going to be Sting/Nash vs. Savage/Sid in a tag team match, but it’s now Sting/Nash vs. Savage/Sid in a tag team match. No that’s not a misprint.

After those words of wisdom, Schiavone explains the junkyard match and the boxing match before throwing it to Gene for a Hotline ad.

Mike Tenay is at the junkyard, which he knows about because his sources told him where to go. Apparently there’s going to be a ring of cars with a bunch of obstacles to get around and the first person to jump over a fence and escape wins. This company is rapidly becoming more of a parody of wrestling than an actual wrestling promotion.

Video on the Cat vs. Disco Inferno. Cat had a kickboxing match with Jerry Flynn and lost via DQ so Flynn took him down in a brawl after the match. He and Disco had a dance off a week earlier, making the kickboxing stuff completely pointless.

Disco Inferno vs. The Cat

The original stipulation was the loser could never dance again but that has since been dropped. The lawyers must be working overtime as the match was announced three days ago and the stipulation was never mentioned on Thunder. Miller rants before the match and wants another dance contest before we get going. He demands that the people all vote for him or else he’ll beat them all up. Tony explains that he’ll lose because he threatened the fans because WCW thinks we’re rather thick headed. Disco dances for about two seconds before Cat goes after him and we’re ready to go.

Inferno starts like a kitchen of fire (not enough for a whole house) and sends Miller sliding out to the floor. Back in and Cat nails a few kicks, so Disco just tackles him to the mat and hammers away. Some atomic drops from Disco set up some miscommunication on what looked to be his swinging neckbreaker.

Cat comes back with a kick to the head and walks around as Sonny gets in a few shots of his own. Those are as effective as you would expect since Sonny, a legitimately accomplished karate fighter, is a manager and therefore incapable of hurting anyone. Back in and Disco grabs a quick sunset flip for two but gets his head kicked off again.

Another kick misses though and Disco legsweeps him down, setting up a middle rope elbow for two. Cat rakes the eyes and puts on the shoe, only to have Disco take it away and blast him in the face. Sonny’s distraction makes it only a two count though, allowing Cat to put the shoe back on and kick Disco for about the fifth time for the pin.

Rating: D. This really was the best thing they could think of to start a show? It’s really hard to care about a match with no build, no value and nothing beyond basic moves. The fact that it had Ernest Miller in there made things even less interesting. It’s not even a horrible match or anything, but there’s just no reason to care about something like that.

Judge Mills Lane won’t put up with any garbage tonight and will chase Bagwell or Piper if need be.

We recap the TV Title match. The video starts with Van Hammer surviving against Disco Inferno because the referee was down and a handful of tights. Then Flair saved Hammer from getting put through a table by banning hardcore matches, allowing Hammer to hit Hugh Morrus with a table and drive him through it. Somehow that earned him a TV Title shot here.

TV Title: Rick Steiner vs. Van Hammer

Keep in mind that there really isn’t a face in this match as there’s no reason to like either guy. Steiner comes out first for no apparent reason. They trade hard shots to the face to start and Steiner is knocked out to the floor. Steiner goes into his new standard of just driving someone down to the mat and ripping at their face a lot. Back up and Rick hammers away before taking Hammer outside to send him into the barricade.

Rick hits a horrible looking DDT on the exposed concrete and covers on the floor to continue getting on my nerves. Back in and Hammer hits him low, only to have Rick punch him in the face to take over again. They head outside one more time with Hammer nailing him in the head with a chair before taking him back inside for the Alabama Slam for two. Steiner bites him between the legs, punts him in the same spot (referee just watches him) and hits the Steiner Bulldog to retain.

Rating: F. Rick Steiner has reached the point where he’s an embarrassment. Between never selling anything from a chair shot to a low blow, there’s just nothing Hammer (who isn’t the guy you want carrying a bag of groceries, let alone a PPV title match) can do. What WCW saw in him other than name recognition I’ll never know, but if someone thinks he’s skilled in the ring, they have no business being in charge of a wrestling company.

We get an overhead view of the junkyard, which really just looks like a parking lot with a bunch of cars stacked up in a circle. The winner gets a trophy but Tenay can’t answer who is going to be in the match because it’s unsanctioned.

We recap David Flair being named US Champion, meaning we just see the segment again. Again, weren’t the Flairs fighting months ago about David siding with Torrie and having his father hold him down? Now David has ten women around him (including Torrie) and his dad made him US Title. That’s a big jump in the span of five months.

US Title: Dean Malenko vs. David Flair

David is defending of course and comes out with Torrie, in a very pushed up tied off top, shirt that might be nine inches long, and a black cowboy hat. Ric, Arn and Asya are here too but Johnny Boone is refereeing. Tony says David hasn’t been impressive in all of his title defenses. You know, all one of them.

Dean of course throws him down with ease and stomps away in the corner before planting David with a suplex. Ric comes in but gets decked as Dean puts on the Cloverleaf. Anderson nails the referee with a spinebuster, allowing Robinson to take over as referee. Dean Cloverleafs Asya but Ric nails him with the US Title to give David the pin.

Rating: F. Dang it this was just long enough to grade. As I said in the Nitro review, I get the idea they’re going for here, but wasn’t there another scrub you could put in there instead of Malenko? I know Dean isn’t going to be headlining a PPV anytime soon, but he’s the kind of guy that should actually be the US Champion. This kind of story is good in the right circumstances, but WCW isn’t in a place where they can turn yet another title into a joke and keep beating their midcard guys into the ground, even in a match that doesn’t end anywhere near clean.

Long recap of the Rednecks vs. the No Limit Soldiers, complete with the full I Hate Rap video. Barry Windham is such a talented drummer that he just scares the drums into playing themselves because he certainly isn’t hitting them. This includes a lot of shouting HOOTY HOO, which amazingly enough didn’t get the rappers over. Master P. is long gone, apparently saying that there weren’t enough of “his people” in the audience for the night the angle took off. That would be in P.’s hometown in New Orleans if you aren’t big on guys who shout like owls.

No Limit Solders vs. West Texas Rednecks

Swoll, B.A., Rey Mysterio Jr., Konnan

Curt Hennig, Barry Windham, Kendall Windham, Bobby Duncum Jr.

Elimination tag, which I believe is the first explanation of the rules for this match. The best part of this: the camera comes back to the arena early, showing ring announcer David Penzer counting the fans down on when to cheer. Tony fails at covering for him by saying that he was saying hi to his five family members in the audience. The levels that this company falls to when trying to cover their mistakes is astounding. Heenan redeems things a bit by saying that the Soldiers’ problem could be solved if they just put a light in their closets. Rey and Konnan make sure to shout a lot before we’re ready to go.

Mysterio and Barry get things going with the Cruiserweight Champion getting hammered down in the corner. Rey comes back by sending Barry into the corner and getting two off a split legged moonsault. Off to Hennig vs. B.A. with Armstrong nailing a dropkick before trying to talk some trash. Thankfully that goes nowhere as it’s off to Duncum before the big Swoll comes in with a bad looking clothesline. Swoll hammers on Duncum but Kendall comes in with a cheap shot to take over.

Kendall misses a charge into the post so Mysterio comes in without a tag. Naturally the referee is fine with this. Kendall tries to beat the rules into him but Rey nails him with a springboard seated senton to knock both Kendall and Duncum out to the floor. Back in and it’s Konnan vs. Hennig before Rey hits another springboard seated senton on Hennig. Duncum and Hennig both get hammered in the corner until it’s Swoll ducking Duncum’s cross body for two in an awkward sequence. Rey adds a springboard legdrop and Swoll pins Bobby.

The other Soldiers, Chase and 4×4 (who makes Ezekiel Jackson look like David Flair) beat up Duncum in the aisle because they’re heroes. Barry and Konnan hammer away on each other until Curt comes back in for a double clothesline. Off to BA as the Rednecks keep control with Curt nailing a quick HennigPlex to make it 3-3. Mysterio tried to dive in for a save but came in too fast and basically started crawling in slow motion for no logical reason.

So it’s Konnan getting beaten down now with Kendall hitting a bad looking lariat and a slightly better looking slam. He misses a middle rope knee though and Konnan hits a rolling lariat of his own (called a DDT by Tony), followed by the facebuster for two. Rey dropkicks Kendall into a horrible “rollup” for the pin on Kendall. Barry DDTs Konnan for two as 4×4 and Chase beat up Kendall.

Everything breaks down with Barry going to the floor…..and being carried off by Chase with Konnan following. For some reason this isn’t a DQ and both guys are counted out. So it’s Hennig vs. Swoll/Mysterio. Swoll comes in for some incredibly sloppy offense as Barry comes back in. Curt tries to bail but 4×4 stops him in his tracks. Back in and Swoll hits his stupid palm strike to the chest before bringing in Rey for the Jimmy Snuka/Andre the Giant big splash off the shoulders for the pin.

Rating: C-. Swoll is horrible. Like he’s really, really bad, to the point that he can barely throw punches correctly. I understand that he was really new at this, but as WCW should have learned over the years, that’s why he shouldn’t be on a major show like this. The Soldiers continue to act entirely like heels here, just like they have for most of this feud.

The announcers chat for a bit about the rest of the card.

We get Hak’s challenge for the junkyard match.

Junkyard Invitational

Ciclope, Jerry Flynn, Johnny Grunge, Hak, Horace Hogan, Brian Knobs, Hugh Morrus, La Parka, Lord Steven Regal, Fit Finlay, Rocco Rock, Silver King, Squire David Taylor, and Mikey Whipwreck

They’re in a junkyard, first person to climb over a fence wins. The place is huge so there’s almost no way to see more than four or five people at once unless you go to a helicopter shots. Public Enemy (a surprise) flips a car over as I’m only going to be able to call big spots. There are barrels of fire everywhere. Jerry Flynn puts an electrical cord into an engine to make sparks fly out. Knobbs dives off one car for an elbow onto King on the roof of a van.

Finlay hits la Parka in the ribs with a bumper as Dave Taylor hits Morrus in the head with a trashcan lid. The annoyed look on Morrus’ face as he just keeps walking is rather amusing. The camera shots are only lasting about ten seconds at most so it’s hard to call much of anything. Jimmy Hart is running around in a yellow shirt and a hard hat. Rocco Rock is thrown into the window of a van. Morrus dives off a car with an elbow onto Rock because they’re already repeating spots.

I think Ciclope dives off a car onto about six guys before they start throwing things at each other instead of doing anything coherent. Finlay goes Captain America by blocking a punch with a trashcan lid and hitting Horace in the face with it. Brian wraps Taylor in a tire as we’re waiting on someone to try and win. Rocco and Horace make the first trip over with Horace making a last second save to keep Rock from escaping.

Silver King is bleeding from the arm as this just keeps going. Taylor has to dance out of a tire before Knobs and Hak put Finlay in a car. A forklift pops up and takes the car over to the crusher but Finlay gets out to prevent death. Of course the forklift hasn’t been seen all match until this point. Then another car blows up and Finlay climbs over the fence to win.

Rating: N/A. This wasn’t wrestling, and quite frankly I’m really not sure what it was. Why in the world WCW thought this was a good idea is beyond me and I’m sure the live audience is going to be THRILLED after having sat there for fifteen minutes waiting on this to end. On top of all that, Finlay would hurt his leg soon after this at a house show (in a hardcore match of course) and be out for months, making the whole thing worthless. I can’t imagine he’s the only one to get injured in this mess either.

We recap the Triad vs. Saturn/Benoit. They fought each other, then they fought each other some more, then they had some singles matches, now they’re having a title match. For some reason we get a bunch of clips of the eight man tag from Nitro which doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, other than a boxing match. They’re trying to tie this into the old vs. new feud, which doesn’t even seem to be a thing anymore.

Tag Team Titles: Chris Benoit/Perry Saturn vs. Jersey Triad

The Triad is defending. Kanyon starts on the floor as Saturn and Page slug it out in the middle. It’s Saturn taking over with a bunch of right hands before knocking Bigelow and Kanyon off the apron for good measure. Off to Bigelow vs. Benoit as the announcers call Benoit an uncrowned champion. Hasn’t he been a three time champion by this point? Bam Bam gets dropped into the middle buckle and sent out to the floor for a meeting with his partners.

Back in and Kanyon fights out of a suplex from Saturn and knees him down against the ropes. He grabs the referee to block a German attempt, only to have Benoit chop him into a t-bone. Back to Benoit for the decapitation clothesline followed by a Liontamer (which he used before Jericho). A double clothesline drops Kanyon for two more as the challengers stay in full control. Benoit stomps Kanyon down in the corner and starts in on his leg.

Saturn drops a top rope legdrop for two but Page comes in without a tag to take over, sending Saturn to the floor for a triple team to take over. Bigelow comes in for a big suplex and a falling headbutt for two. Back to Kanyon after Bigelow uses Flair’s “how much time is left” trick. Kanyon drops a leg for one of the slowest two counts I can remember in a long time. The fans get distracted by something in the crowd so Bigelow puts Saturn in a chinlock.

Kanyon comes back in but gets crotched on the top, setting up a belly to belly superplex from Saturn. Benoit gets the hot tag and goes after Bigelow, only to have Page take him down with a top rope clothesline. Page is VERY pleased with this move, running out to the floor and celebrating like a mad man, even climbing onto the barricade. Back in and Page gets two off an elbow drop before it’s off to Bigelow for some fat man offense.

Page comes in again and runs Benoit over for two with Saturn making the save. We get a front chancery from Page but Benoit drives him into the corner for the hot tag, which of course the referee doesn’t see. That wicked sitout powerbomb from Page is good for two. Benoit finally suplexes Kanyon down but Bigelow breaks up a hot tag attempt. Bam Bam misses the moonsault though and we FINALLY get the hot tag to Saturn (which the camera doesn’t catch).

Saturn cleans house with suplexes and clotheslines Page and Kanyon out to the floor. Everything breaks down again and Saturn hits a top rope splash, followed by the Swan Dive from Benoit but Page comes in off the top for the save. Saturn loads Page up with the Death Valley Driver but Kanyon throws powder in his face, only to have it get in Page’s eyes too, causing him to Diamond Cut Kanyon. Bigelow makes the save but Benoit Germans Page for a VERY close two. Page throws in a metal trashcan as the referee gets bumped. He hits Kanyon by mistake but Bigelow comes in for a 3D on Saturn to retain the titles.

Rating: B+. Give that match a less messy finish and it’s a classic. There was a lot of good stuff in here and the majority of it was due to how much time they were given. Everyone was allowed to get in there for awhile and the fans bought into the idea of two guys trying to fight against the big cheating team. They gave it a great effort and the whole thing just worked. Really good stuff here, though not enough to save this disaster of the show.

Clip of Judge Mills Lane agreeing to referee the boxing match. That’s all of the recap because there was no reason for this to be a boxing match other than Piper barely being a wrestler anymore.

Roddy Piper vs. Buff Bagwell

Big time boxing referee Mills Lane is referee here to try to make people care. In case you’ve never seen him, just picture Mr. Strickland from Back to the Future. Piper has Flair in his corner. Buff’s gloves are actually labeled “Buff’s Left” and “Buff’s Right”. Bagwell sees Flair in Piper’s corner, so he has someone to have his back: HIS MOM, “Judge Judy” Bagwell. And I give up. Seriously it was bad enough when this was boxing instead of Piper just doing a freaking job for Bagwell like he should be doing, but now BUFF’S MOM IS HERE???

Flair gives Bagwell a chance to leave but Buff reminds him of the pin off the Blockbuster a few weeks back. You know, when Flair put Bagwell over in the middle of the ring in the whole point of this entire story. The rounds are two minutes long here. Piper sticks his chin out to start until Buff hammers him into the corner. The fans are dead at this point if you couldn’t guess. Bagwell tees off on Piper (well, as much as he can BECAUSE HE ISN’T A BOXER) to end the first round.

Flair sprays something on Piper’s gloves in between the rounds as this continues to fall apart. Piper hits a few jabs to the face and Bagwell’s eyes are burning. He gets punched down in the corner as Judy brings over a sponge to try and clean Buff’s eyes out. Back up and Piper wildly swings until Buff knocks Piper down in the corner in an identical sequence from Piper vs. Mr. T. thirteen years ago, because that’s what this is supposed to be….a tribute to I suppose? Piper gets up as round two ends.

I’m going to pause for a second here and give you a bit of context to what is about to happen. Fifteen months ago, WCW was still in control of the Monday Night Wars and hadn’t lost a night in the ratings in nearly two years. Their last win was about nine months before this. Yeah they were in trouble, but it’s not like they were so desperate for something good to happen that they had to go insane. A few weeks back, Buff Bagwell hit his finishing move and pinned Ric Flair in the middle of the ring on Nitro, which should have been the start of a huge push for him. After all that, I give you the third round of this boxing match.

Piper jumps Bagwell in the corner and attacks Bagwell early, so his mother Judy gets in the ring and bites Piper’s ear. She then dumps the spit bucket over Piper’s head as Buff punches Flair off the apron. Buff goes up and hits the Blockbuster on Piper as Judy holds Flair on the apron, allowing Buff to pin Piper for the win. Judy chases the President of WCW around the ring after the match.

Rating: G. As in below an F and for GOOD FREAKING GRIEF THEY REALLY COULDN’T COME UP WITH ANYTHING BETTER THAN THIS??? Piper wasn’t capable of doing a five minute match and doing a job for Bagwell? Does WCW really think that it’s important enough to protect him from taking a fall in a wrestling match that they’ll let him take a fall in a boxing match? Read that sentence back and see how insane it sounds. Now throw in Judy Bagwell and more hijinks than an episode of Looney Tunes and you see what happened to WCW in the summer of 1999.

We recap Nash/Sting vs. Savage/Sid. Savage being a woman beater and Nash potentially raping George is glossed over. On the other hand, the Fake Sting attacking Nash, causing Nash to go after Sting, even though the real Sting came out to beat up the Fake Sting, is left out with only the Fake Sting beating Nash down being shown. For some reason Nash wanted this to be a tag team match where anyone, including his partner, could pin him for the title. Again, this isn’t mentioned in the video. We’ll also ignore Nash saying he saw Sting driving the Hummer before we see that happening in the package.

WCW World Title: Sid Vicious/Randy Savage vs. Kevin Nash/Sting

Nash is defending in what is more like a handicap fatal fourway than a tag match if that makes sense. In theory Sting can only pin Nash for the title, meaning it’s basically one on one on two. Thankfully Tony mentions the whole Sting can pin Nash and the real Sting coming out during the entrances. Yes, we’ve reached the point where Tony Schiavone is having to cover for the production team’s goofs.

George (living up to the gorgeous moniker tonight) comes out in sunglasses but takes them off to reveal a black eye as she goes to stand in Nash’s corner. The reason for the black eye isn’t explained because that really wasn’t something that should have happened, nor is it even referenced by the announcers. Savage and Sting start but Randy sees George changing corners and freaks out. Sting uses the chance to deck Savage and the fight is slowly on.

Off to Sid to face Sting as Tony explains the rules, making this match even more confusing that it was in the first place. Sting quickly knocks Sid out to the floor but Nash isn’t interested in tagging. So in theory, if Nash doesn’t get pinned, he doesn’t lose the title? It’s not like we’ve ever gotten a clear answer to that, though to be fair I doubt WCW thought it that far through. Sid and Savage start double teaming Sting with the big man putting on a bad looking camel clutch.

Savage comes in and spits at the champ, but thankfully doesn’t hit his hair. Sting finally rolls away and makes the tag to Nash for all the usual offense. He has Savage in trouble but gives Sting a very hard tag to get out. Sting takes it outside and splashes the barricade before Savage takes him back inside for some choking. Tony points out that almost no one has tries to pin Nash yet, making the whole stipulation rather pointless.

Sid hooks one of the lamest chinlocks I’ve ever seen on Sting, who is nice enough to go down to the mat in a heap. Granted he might have fainted after hearing some of the nonsense they actually aired on this show. Sting fights up again and does the falling low blow spot, allowing for the hot tag off to Nash.

Everything breaks down and the girls come in, only to have Sting splash both of them plus Sid. Savage and Nash get splashed at the same time, allowing Sid to plant Sting with a chokeslam. George gets in and low blows Nash (SHOCK AND AWE, SHOCK AND AWE), setting up the big elbow from Savage for the pin and the title.

Rating: D-. I wonder if they bothered to tell everyone else in the match about the whole Sting can pin Nash rule, because it was NEVER attempted and was a complete non factor. George’s face turn (can you even call it that?) lasted all of twelve minutes, meaning she’s picking the woman beater over the kidnapper and potential rapist. I can’t believe I just had to type that, so I’ll wrap it up by saying it’s a horrible match.

Overall Rating: F. The fact that a REALLY good twenty three minute Tag Team Title match is needed to bring this show up to a failure tells you all you need to know. This show had eight matches. One of them was a joke with David Flair needing an army to beat Malenko, one wasn’t wrestling because it was a big fight in a junkyard, and one was a boxing match. Two of the others were matches that belonged on Thunder at best, another one was a boring elimination tag, and one MADE NO FREAKING SENSE.

This show blew my mind in ways that I honestly didn’t think were possible. Just let some of this stuff sink in for a few minutes. Roddy Piper apparently can’t be trusted in a five minute match, we can’t have a DQ anymore because Rick Steiner wouldn’t be able to have a match break 10 seconds if we did, and we have to drop stipulations that are made less than three days before the match. WCW is dying before our eyes and it’s kind of amazing to see in a morbid way.

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2 Responses

  1. Jerichoholic94 says:

    Worst PPV ever?

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