Monday, August 13, 2018

WCW Bash At The Beach 1995

You know... Summerslam is coming up this weekend as I write this and I'm not really looking forward to a ten-hour PPV marathon with about one or two matches that I'd be interested in. So you know what? I decided to spend the ten hours plus watching a couple PPVs that are set during the summer. They're not even Summerslam PPVs, just summer events.

Let's kick things off with WCW Bash At The Beach 1995, which took place on an actual, honest-to-god BEACH. Yes, despite having a number of Beach Blast and Bash At The Beach shows, this is the first time that WCW had the gall to hold the event at an actual beach. And you want to know something, folks? You can say that this was a dumb move since they made no money off the show, but at the very least, it was a unique setting with a unique vibe and atmosphere. And perhaps most importantly, it stood out. You watch a show like that and it sticks with you. Compared to the current WWE PPV landscape where every show looks the same and blends in with the rest.

In any event, let us begin.

WCW United States champion Sting defeated Meng with a roll-up to retain the title. Meng gives Sting a nice beating before Road Warrior Hawk shows up to make the save... for some reason that probably would've made more sense had I been watching WCW at the time. Meh... it was a thing that happened, but hey, Meng looked like a monster.

WCW World Television Champion Renegade (a.k.a. the failed Ultimate Warrior Rip-Off) defeated Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff to retain the title in a pretty bad match. I'd hate to speak ill of the dead (Renegade committed suicide in 99), but the guy couldn't pull off the Warrior thing and I think it would've been a nigh impossible task for anyone in the role, not just the guy who got the gig. Try as he might, Orndorff simply couldn't get a good match out of the guy and the crowd - a casual non-paying crowd, by the way - wasn't willing to buy into what Renegade was selling. And that makes this whole thing all the more tragic.

Kamala The Ugandan Giant defeated Hacksaw Jim Duggan with an assist from Brother Brutus Butcher Beefcake Zodiac Booty Man fellow... how many fucking gimmicks did this guy have, anyway?

Oh yeah, the match sucked. Moving on.

Diamond Dallas Page defeated Dave Sullivan in another sucky match... or rather, it's Evad Sullivan, who plays a "special" person. If you need me to clear up what I mean by "special", you were clearly not alive in 1995. Also, this match also sucked because one guy is a terrible wrestler who I never want to see on my television screen ever again... and the other is DDP, who's nowhere near as good as he'd eventually be.

WCW World Tag-Team Champions Harlem Heat defeated the Nasty Boys and the Blue Bloods (Lord Steven Regal and Robert Eaton) in a Triangle Tag Team match to win the titles. This match was a mess, I couldn't quite follow what was going on, I soon lost interest, but at the very least, Harlem Heat retained the titles, so that's something I got out of this.

Macho Man Randy Savage defeated Ric Flair in a Lifeguard match... which is essentially a lumberjack match. When it comes to Randy Savage and Ric Flair, they almost always are able to gel nicely together and put on really great matches. This one was... merely okay and I'm probably being generous considering the people involved. They've had better matches... both before and after.

WCW World Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan defeated Big Van Vader in a Steel Cage match to retain the title. Flair would taunt Vader for a bit afterwards and earn a shot from the big man. This would be Vader's last WCW PPV and what a sad way to go out on. I want to go with the usual "It's a Hulk Hogan match" excuse that I generally have for these things, but even on that lofty scale, this was pretty dull stuff. There's a run-in from that Zodiac fellow that meant nothing. A lot of boring shit I've seen done better in other matches. Poor Vader deserved a better exit than this... but it was Hogan's World and you were all living in it.

So Bash At The Beach took place at an actual beach and it made for a great visual. Certainly a unique setting for a wrestling show and probably a precursor to all those Spring Break Nitros down the line... but this was a show that probably made no money in ticket sales... if there was such a thing. And as such, WCW gave the freeloading crowd at the beach a rather mediocre showing of a Pay-Per-View. And you know what? 1995 is a hard year to sit through a couple decades after the fact. The WWF shows are mostly horrible and the Hulkamania wave in WCW pretty much made shows like this seem

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