Kick Out at the Bash at the Beach! – 7/7/1996

Posted: September 4, 2015 by Kick Out At 2! in Kick Out At Nitro, Shane D
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BashLadies and gentlemen…boys and girls…WCW fans all over the world…

This is the night we’ve all been waiting for!

Tonight is huge.  Tonight is arguably the top night in WCW history.  Tonight is when this whole nWo thing kicks off in earnest!

Tonight, my friends…is Bash at the Beach!

It’s July 7th, 1996, in Daytona, Florida, and we’re at the head of the Hostile Takeover of WCW by the Outsiders, two men who have yet to be named on WCW television, but we know them as Diesel and Razor Ramon from the WWF.  The show opens with a quick video highlighting the Hostile Takeover and playing music that is synonymous with the Outsiders and the Takeover itself.  I’m pretty certain The Outsiders use it tonight as their entrance music.  It was used as their entrance music in their DLC on the WWE2K14 video game, I know that for sure.

We go from the video package to our announcers tonight; Tony Schiavone, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, and Dusty Rhodes, as well as a cadre of security guards surrounding them.  Tony is a bit overdressed compared to the other two, but that usually happens.  The announcers are all anxious for tonight’s main event and want to skip all of the other matches to get to that match.

Match #1: Psicosis VS Rey Mysterio, Jr.

Oh snap!  At this point in American pro wrestling, this is the first real taste of lucha libre to hit the airwaves.  These two have been tearing it up in ECW for a few months at this point, but this is their first major showcase in one of the big two companies.  As always with lucha matches, forgive me if I can’t keep up.

The announce team is joined by “Iron” Mike Tenay since we’re getting two international stars.  He lets us know that these two men have had a professional rivalry for the last 8 years, since they went to the same wrestling camp.

We start off with ground game, with Psicosis with a bow and arrow stretch which Rey reverses into a cross arm breaker.  Mike lets us know that both men had a match last night in Mexico, so they’ve had a bit of travel to get here.  He also lets us now that the masked wrestler is huge in Mexico and that masks are the biggest piece of fan merchandise down there.  Bobby says that he’s pretty sure that you can’t get one at a bank or a 7-11, which no one really capitalizes on.

Our first big dive spot comes from Rey diving out of the ring onto Psicosis and crashing both of them into the guardrail.  Psicosis brings Rey back into the ring and gets a two count off of a leg drop.  Tony mentions that we’re seeing more of the masked Mexican wrestlers due to WCW having the Cruiserweight Championship.  I like the idea that WCW has something that everyone in other countries wants, so that’s why they’re coming in.  It adds some legitimacy to the company and the title.

Psicosis gets another two count off of a huge top rope legdrop.  I’m pretty sure that’s his finish, so I don’t know why he hit it three minutes into the match.

An ongoing thing with the announcers is that Eric Bishcoff isn’t in the building yet.

maxresdefaultMike lets us know that Rey Jr. grew up idolizing Scott Steiner and as a result has perfected the Frankensteiner.  I wonder if that’s legit.  It’s interesting to see Rey’s body frame in 1996 VS the last time he was in WWF.  He got HUGE!  Wonder if that was also from idolizing Big Poppa Pump.

Rey shows off more of that Frankensteiner based offense, which Mike tells us is known as a hurracanrana, by hitting one off of the ring apron and then another off of an Irish whip in the ring for two.  I always considered a hurracanrana one that goes off to the side or one that wraps up for the pin and then a Frankensteiner is done like Steiner does, straight down, no pin.  I always liked them as two different moves, myself.

Psicosis has Rey Jr on the mat at ringside, goes up top and hits a senton that looks devastating to himself.  Why try that one?  That’s all tailbone to concrete there.

Tony is actually really good at coming up with talking points and allowing Tenay to run with it.  It’s a nice contrast to Bobby and Dusty’s incoherence in a match like this.

Rey hits yet another hurracanrana by reversing himself on Psicosis’s shoulders and hitting one, then hitting another off of the top rope to Psicosis on the apron, sending them crashing to the floor!  I think every bit of offense in Rey’s arsenal thus far has involved a Frankensteiner, haha.

Rey proves me wrong by hitting a slingshot press off of the ropes for two, then hitting a duo of springboard dropkicks, followed by a twisting asai moonsault to the apron.  Rey goes to the well one more time with a springboard Frankensteiner, but Psicosis drops him with a sitout powerbomb for two.  Psicosis follows this up by running Rey gut first into the corner and going for a Splash Mountain powerbomb, but Rey is able to pull yet another Frankensteiner out of it for the win.

Winner: Rey Mysterio, Jr.

We go backstage with Mean Gene and Konnan, the current United States champion.  Mean Gene asks Konnan for an explanation of the finish to the match, which Konnan reiterates Tenay and says Psicosis was going for a top rope Splash Mountain and Rey caught him with a top rope Frankensteiner.  Konnan cuts a pretty damn good promo on the Horsemen, actually, showing he’s grown a bit in the last few months there.

Match #2: Carson City Silver Dollar Match: Big Bubba w/ Jimmy Hart VS John Tenta

During the entrances we get a good shot of the entrance.  I always love the Bash at the Beach entry way.  It’s done up with sand, beach furniture, etc.  WCW didn’t do elaborate stages many times, but when they did, I always liked it.

John Tenta still only has half of a haircut and has no beard, making him look absolutely terrible.  He also still has no entrance music, which is not great at making him seem interesting at all.

41NFqeRWhVLThis match is basically a “sock full of coins on a pole” match.  The pole is REALLY damn high, too!  There’s no damn way in this world that John Tenta is going to scale this pole and get that sock.  It’s legit 12+ feet in the air.  Big Bubba gets on the top rope and you can tell it’s at least another person taller than he is.  So, they expect 500 pound John Tenta to scurry his large self up there…yeah.  I’ll go so far as to say that Bubba isn’t going up there, either.  Pretty sure Jimmy Hart gets involved in this one.

Tenta goes up twice and looks at the sock, but Bubba is able to get him down.  Bubba tries himself a few times, involving Tenta finally crotching him on the top rope and backdroping him, sending him out of the ring.  Tenta then tries to go to the top but realizes there’s NO damn sense in that, so he starts to try to undo the ties that have ratchet strapped the pole to the corner.  Bubba comes back in with a belt and begins to choke Tenta, in full view of the referee.  Um, this shouldn’t be legal.  The stipulations of the match are that whoever gets the sock first can use it.  Why allow other foreign objects in the match if the WHOLE point of the match is to get the one on the pole?  No thought in this one.

Bubba pulls out a roll of tape (that I can only guess he got from Hacksaw as he gets ready for his match with DDP tonight) and tapes Tenta to the ropes and proceeds to whip him with the belt.  Jimmy hands Bubba a pair of surgical scissors and Bubba begins to cut Tenta’s hair.  Tenta stops that and uses the scissors to free himself from the ropes and then begins to cut the ratchet straps holding the pole before Bubba stops him.  Since weapons are legal, apparently, why not just stab Bubba with the scissors?

Bubba sends Jimmy Hart up the pole, since there’s no way either one of these hosses are climbing that thing.  Hell, after Tenta cut one of the straps, I’m not certain that I would have climbed the thing if I were Jimmy.  While Jimmy goes up the pole, Tenta hits Bubba with a big slam.  When Jimmy comes down, Tenta grabs the sock, nails Bubba, and gets the win.

Winner: John Tenta

If I were Tenta, I’d have tee’d off on Bubba a few times as a receipt for that shot to the face from a few weeks back.  Tenta dumps the contents of the sock and places two coins over Bubba’s eyes before heading to the back.  I actually liked that touch.  Only thing I’ve liked in this entire program.

The announcers again comment on Eric Bischoff not being there and also speculate on the identity of the third man.  They kick us back to Mean Gene, Sting, Lex Luger, and Randy Savage.  Everyone is painted up in Sting paint, solidarity showing.  Everyone’s actually in colors that match their gear, and I really like that.  Savage says he doesn’t care who the third man is.  Luger says it’ll be hard to prepare but he’s proud to be on this team.  He says it’s time for actions to speak louder than words.  Sting says that the unknown gives him a dry mouth, makes him a nervous wreck, gives him goosebumps…and it does the same thing to Savage and Luger.  They’re a team and they’re ready.  I like it!

Sting2

Match #3: Taped Fist / Lord of the Ring Match: Diamond Dallas Page (Lord of the Ring) VS Hacksaw Jim Duggan

DDP’s in blue, which I like better than the lime green/pink gear he’s been wearing recently.

Tony straight up accuses Duggan of stealing the Ring on the last Nitro instead of finding it in the bathroom like he says he did.  Damn, Tony, that’s cold.

DDP comes off of the ropes and Hacksaw hits a shoulderblock and DDP takes a wonky bump out of the ring.  It just wasn’t natural and you could tell that he had to take a step backwards.

DDP trips Duggan, pulls his legs around the ringpost and tapes Duggan’s legs together, trapping him.  While referee Nick Patrick is freeing Duggan, DDP puts the boots to Hacksaw and cuts the tape off of Hacksaw’s hands, giving himself an advantage now.  Duggan gets back up, hits Page again, resulting in yet another wonky fall to the ropes.  DDP gets trapped in the ropes, lower body in the ring, upper body out, and Hacksaw seesaws him with punches for a while before taking it to the outside.

“If Duggan wins, he’ll get the ring…one of the most prized possessions in our sport.”  Um…sure, Tony.  Sure.

DDP takes over for a while after blocking a takedown by holding the ropes, but when he goes up top, Hacksaw crotches him and sends him to the mat face first before bouncing him DDP’s head off of the turnbuckle for a 10 count.  Hacksaw follows it up with a clothesline to the floor.  Hacksaw rolls him into the ring, DDP kicks the ropes while Hacksaw is trying to come in, effectively crotching him, then hits the Diamond Cutter for the win.

Winner: Diamond Dallas Page

So…in a taped first match, the finish in no way involves a taped fist.  Interesting.  Duggan rolls up his fist in tape and nails DDP after the match, leaving the Lord of the Ring laying after his victory.

Fun Fact: I will never not mark out for the Diamond Cutter.  I love that move.

Backstage, in a locker room this time instead of just in front of a random Bash at the Beach banner, Mean Gene joins with The Giant, Kevin Sullivan, and Jimmy Hart.  Gene makes a mention of Kevin Sullivan being the weak link of the Dungeon of Doom and Sullivan says to ask the Giant if he’s the weak link.  Giant puts over Sullivan and says Sullivan brought him there to reclaim his birthright and put an end to Hulkamania.  So, they’re still saying Giant is the son of Andre.

Gene kicks us to Lee Marshall, Arn Anderson, and Chris Benoit.  Marshall says that if one of the Horsemen win, one of the Horsemen get a title shot at the Giant.  Double A says before that, he’ll address the Outsiders.  He says they picked on Bischoff, but they’ll have a harder road with Luger, Sting, and Savage.  He then says they’ll take out the Dungeon of Doom and cut the Giant in half.  Benoit starts off by saying “silent but violent” for the second week in a row.  As much as I like Benoit at this point, you can’t start off a promo saying you’re going to be silent.

Match #4: Dog Collar Match: Public Enemy VS The Nasty Boys

Interesting…I’m watching this on the WWE Network, which will every now and then result in music being dubbed over.  On Nitro, the last time we saw the Public Enemy, their entrance music was dubbed over.  Here, though, it’s playing just fine.  Wonder what’s going on there.

19960707_nasty_enemy_USEIn this match, Rocco Rock is collared up to Jerry Saggs and Rocco Rock is chained to Brian Knobbs.  Knobbs and Grunge start with a tug of war while Saggs and Rock simply stand there awkwardly.  Both teams finally start brawling out on the floor.  I have a feeling that’s going to be the majority of this writeup.  “All four men fight on the floor and occasionally hit each other with a weapon.”  Rocco tries to climb the guard rail, but falls.  He finally gets up there and gets crotched for his trouble.  Knobbs and Grunge are brawling in the sand at the entrance, culminating with Knobbs beating Grunge with an inflatable shark.  Not sure that’s going to do a lot.

Saggs finds a surfboard to beat Rock and Bobby says “he’s hanging 10,” resulting in Dusty marking out and saying “I was just going to say that!”

Rock jumps off of the lifeguard chair with a senton, but Saggs is up before Grunge, which is kind of silly.  Over on the boardwalk, Knobbs gets a two count.  The entire match has been presented in split screen, kind of like they did at World War 3.

“I think it’s against the law to walk your dog on the beach in Florida.”  Dusty Rhodes

Heenan: They’re gonna have sand where they didn’t think they could get sand tomorrow.

Tony: Well, believe you me, when you go to the beach you always do.

Dusty: Do what?

Tony: Get sand…nothing.

This played off so funny, with Tony just refusing to try to explain it to Dusty.  I honestly don’t give Tony a lot of crap for his announcing because he’s easily the best guy that WCW has.

Saggs drops Rock with a piledriver on the concrete but doesn’t cover.  Knobbs and Grunge fight near a table, and for a few moments, all four men are in the same place so we leave split screen.  Rock puts Saggs on the table and jumps through it.

I didn’t realize how many gimmick matches were on this show.  This is three in a row now.  Crazy.

Both groups end up in the ring together, so we again leave split screen.  There’s also a table in the ring, now.  They’ve already went through one table, though, so is another really all that special?  Rock tries to put Saggs through the table, so Grunge holds Knobbs in the corner.  Rock goes up top, Saggs gets off of the table and pulls Rock off the top rope with the dog collar, but the table doesn’t break and there’s an odd crack that Bobby and Tony comment was Rock’s back.  Saggs puts Rock on the table now, goes up and drops a chain-wrapped forearm, but the table AGAIN doesn’t break.

Knobbs hangs Grunge on the outside, stretching the chain across the ring, and Saggs sends Rock into it, letting it clothesline him, then covers for the win.

Winners: The Nasty Boys

Immediately after the match, Rock jumps up and attacks Saggs with the chain.  Heenan sums this up nicely with “and this match solved nothing between them.”  There was really no reason for the match beforehand, and nothing solved afterwards, so it was just random filler between two teams that can’t work.  Nice.

More speculation on the third man.  Gene is backstage outside the Outsiders locker room, which is surrounded by security.  Gene says if one of the Outsiders touched him, he’d get sue happy and go to a lawyer, which was random.  Gene says he wishes he could get an interview, but that’s not happening.

Match #5: WCW Cruiserweight Championship: Disco Inferno VS “The Man of 1,000 Holds” Dean Malenko (WCW Cruiserweight Champion)

Disco is in orange tonight instead of white.  Disco stops the music and says that everyone came to see him dance.  After he beats “Mr. Personality” and wins the title, everyone is invited to his disco dance party.

Uncharacteristically, Malenko starts off jawing with Disco and slaps him in the face before taking him to the floor and brawling.  Back in the ring, Dean backs Disco into the corner, still giving him the riot act, causing Disco to shove him.  Dean rolls backwards, flips forward, and goes right back on the attack.  Dean is in rare form tonight and I’m liking it.  Dean follows with a dropkick and a brainbuster for two. Heenan calls it a piledriver, for some reason, though.  Dean locks on a headscissors but Disco gets to the ropes and breaks it up.  Malenko bashes Disco into the corner, follows with a back suplex, then locks on a leglock.

Disco sends Dean to the corner and rushes in, but Dean jumps him and rolls him up for two.  The announcers point out that Disco has yet to have any offense, which is accurate.  As if he heard it, Disco finally unleashes a barrage of punches.  Oddly, the announcers jump all over it like Disco was the babyface.

Dean controls most of the match from that point until yet another little offensive burst.  Dean goes up to for a double axe handle but Disco is able to block it and hit a Rude Awakening.  He also gets a swinging neckbreaker but dances before making the cover, costing him.  Disco rolls Malenko up for two, then follows with a hell of a clothesline, also for two.  Dean blocks a hiptoss with a clothesline of his own and goes for a dropkick off of an Irish whip, but Disco hooks the ropes and blocks it.  They jockey for positioning, but Dean hits a Tiger Driver and follows with the Texas Cloverleaf for the win.

Winner: Dean Malenko (still WCW Cruiserweight Champion)

Match #6: “The Desperado” Joe Gomez VS Steve “Mongo” McMichael w/ Debra

I’ve never heard that Gomez had a nickname.  Interesting.

They make a big deal about Joe Gomez being a big football fan and McMichael fan and it being a terrible thing that Mongo attacked Gomez.  Debra comes to the ring with a poodle and the announcers mention that the moment they got some money, they got rid of Pepe.

Gomez starts off getting in Mongo’s face, but Mongo retaliates with kicks and some chops in the corner before whipping Gomez into the opposite corner and going into a three point stance clothesline.  Mongo runs his mouth to Gomez and it fires Gomez up, allowing him to get a crossbody block for two.

Mongo is now wearing black and white instead of the blue and orange he wore at the Great American Bash.  I wonder if they were told he can’t wear his football colors or something, or if he just decided black was better as a heel.

Mongo gets Gomez down on all fours, tests the wind, and kicks a field goal complete with throwing his arms up afterwards.  The announcers have fun at Bobby’s expense after he says that he always liked McMichael.  They tell him that they have tons of footage saying differently.  Mongo locks on a side headlock but Gomez is able to get out of it, although Mongo locks on a sleeperhold.  Gomez drops in a jawbreaker to get out of the hold.  Mongo hits a swinging neckbreaker for two and attempts a Figure 4 but Gomez rolls him into a small package for two.

In all honesty, Mongo isn’t looking bad for someone in his third match.

Gomez gets on a roll firing off dropkicks, going for a sunset flip that Mongo just screws all up.  Looks like I spoke too early on my last statement.  Mongo catches Gomez in a Tombstone piledriver for the win.

Winner: Steve McMichael

We’re sent to Mean Gene in the locker room with Ric Flair, Woman, and Liz.  Gene looks longingly into Woman’s eyes for a weird, awkward second.  It was kind of creepy and he chastises her for commanding his attention.  Flair says that Mongo started it, Arn and Benoit will continue it, and tomorrow Flair will be US Champion with a shot at the World Championship.  Gene says that they call Konnan a man of 1,000 holds, which makes me wonder if Flair forgot about who future Horseman Dean Malenko is.  Gene asks the women about money and parties and Liz invites Gene to a party and Woman pours it on a little more, saying that they can tap into the source of Liz’s money and get a private party.  Gene stutters over his words as Flair finishes the promo.  Gene finishes it off by telling Woman that she’s very attractive but he doesn’t care for the people she hangs out with.  Flair says if Woman makes one more pass ag Gene, he won’t be able to make it to Sarasota and he’ll be across the street partying with the Nature Boy.

Match #7: WCW United States Championship: Konnan (WCW United States Champion) VS “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair w/ Woman and Ms. Elizabeth

Even after all this time, Liz just still looks so awkward.  It’s seriously like she’s embarrassed to be hanging out with Flair.  It’s odd.  Woman just fits him so much better.

Glad to see Konnan no longer has KKK carved in his haircut.

Flair and Konnan start off pretty slowly, mostly staying on the ground and moving in and out of a few basic holds.  Konnan really cranks it up pulling Flair from a Surfboard into a bow and arrow type maneuver, resulting in both Flair and Woman screaming the entire time he’s in the move.  When Flair is able to escape he’s met with a bodyslam off of an Irish whip, followed by some chops in the corner.  Flair tries to give Konnan one back but Konnan decks him, sends him to the ropes and gorilla press slams him.  Konnan sends Flair to the floor with a clothesline, then dives off of the apron onto Flair, taking Liz with them.  Liz doesn’t really sell it at all, though.  Konnan goes up top to dive off on Flair, but Woman hits the ropes and sends Konnan back down to the canvas.

Flair pokes Konnan in the eyes and draws the ire of Nick Patrick, who backs him into the corner to give him the rules.  While this is happening, Woman enters the ring and kicks Konnan right in the junk.  Flair calls for Liz to jump to the apron to distract Patrick while he tosses Konnan over the top rope, which is still a disqualification in WCW, into the waiting choke of Woman.  Flair suplexes Konnan back into the ring for a trio of two counts.  Konnan fires back up, though, with a barrage of chops and punches in the corner.  Flair gets Konnan off of him long enough to flop to his face.  Konnan sends him to the corner and dropkicks him over the top rope, down to the floor.  Konnan attempts a sunset flip but Flair punches him in the face to end that.  Flair attempts the Figure 4, but just like Joe Gomez, Konnan rolls Flair into a small package for two.  Konnan drops Flair with a drop toe hold and applies his own Figure 4.  It seems like anyone who wrestles Ric Flair tries to beat him with the Figure 4.  It’s an interesting wrestling trope.

Flair gets out by going to the ropes.  He goes up top, again forgetting that he’s Ric Flair, and Konnan sends him off the top and follows with a bulldog for two.  Konnan hits his rolling clothesline for two as well.  Konnan locks Flair in an abdominal stretch that he rolls over into a pin but Liz jumps to the apron and stops that.  Woman climbs the opposed apron and pulls off her shoe, which she nails Konnan with after Flair hits a slam.  Flair rolls Konnan over and pins him with his feet on the top rope for leverage.

Winner: Ric Flair (new WCW United States Champion)

I always like putting the lower card titles on main players as it elevates the title.  Flair as US Champ is pretty cool.

We go back to Gene in a hallway, evesdropping on the door of the Outsiders.  He says that they’ve been joined by a third man whose voice sounds familiar but it’s muffled by the door.  Gene asks Tony if he has any idea who the third man might be.  Tony says no, but asks Gene if has any idea based off of the voice.  Gene says no.  Heenan says to offer the policemen some cash to find out if they know anything.  Gene starts but then yells at Heenan for trying to get him in trouble.  Gene says he hasn’t heard from Bischoff either.

Match #8: “The Enforcer” Arn Anderson & “The Crippler” Chris Benoit VS “Taskmaster” Kevin Sullivan & The Giant (WCW World Heavyweight Champion) w/ Jimmy Hart – If the Horsemen win, one of them will get a title shot on Nitro

Giant and Sullivan attack the Horsemen right off the gate, during their entrance.  Mongo runs out and nails The Giant with his briefcase.  The Giant runs off after McMichael, leaving Arn and Benoit to put the boots to Sullivan.

Benoit and Sullivan start the match off while Jimmy Hart runs to the back to bring The Giant back out for the match.

Man, I love Arn and Benoit as a team.  I know that later they start tagging Benoit and Mongo, but Arn and Benoit work so well as a mentor/protégé relationship.

The Horsemen keep on Sullivan with quick tags, keeping him from being able to tag out to The Giant.  Arn gets a little too close to Sullivan’s corner when he calls for the DDT, though, and The Giant nails him with a clothesline.  Arn is able to hold onto Sullivan, though, and drag him over to their corner so he can tag out to Benoit.

I like how everyone knows that the title shot will go to Flair.  One of my favorite parts of the Four Horsemen is the idea that they’re there to keep the belt on Flair.  I think that’s one of Arn’s most endearing qualities through his history.  He never had to go for the title.  He never wanted to.  It’s almost like he knew that he could take it at any time, but he was loyal to Flair, knew the company drew more money with Flair as Champion, so that’s what his move was.  It’s a great added dynamic to his character through the years.

There’s a really bad spot, unfortunately, as Sullivan attempts to slingshot Anderson into Benoit, who is on the top rope.  Arn just isn’t able to make the move work and it looks bad.  It, however, allows Sullivan to make the tag to The Giant.  Giant and Anderson square off in the ring while Benoit and Sullivan immediately brawl all over the arena.  They brawl up into the stands, which allows Giant to hit Double A with a chokeslam for the win.

Winners: The Giant and Kevin Sullivan (a member of the Horsemen does NOT get a title shot)

Sullivan goes to head back to the ring and Benoit comes flying into the frame, taking Sullivan out and covering the two of them with sand.  Benoit brings Sullivan back to the ring and sets him up on the top rope, crashing him down with a top rope back suplex.  Benoit puts the boots to Sullivan and Woman comes down to the ring, shouting that she’s going to hurt Sullivan, yelling for him to stop.  Benoit ignores that nonsense and keeps putting the boots to Sullivan until The Giant comes out to run the Horsemen off.

The announcers speculate as to why Woman would be asking Benoit to stop, which is a really good question.  I thought that as of the Great American Bash that the Dungeon/Horsemen alliance was over.  Now, Woman is Sullivan’s wife around this time, so there’s the idea that they’re going to play into that, but I honestly don’t remember any of that coming out on TV.  Maybe that’s 19 years of memory that I’m just foggy about, but still, I honestly don’t remember their real life stuff coming out, just that eventually Woman starts hanging out with Benoit.  I’m very intrigued as to where this goes now.

The announcers take us to a video package about the Hostile Takeover, giving us the history of what has been going down since May 27th.  After that, we go to Michael Buffer who announces our main event:

Match #9: The Outsiders (Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, and an unknown third man) VS “Macho Man” Randy Savage, “Total Package” Lex Luger, & Sting

Outside of seeing the ending to this match on TV many times, I’ve never seen this match before.  I’m very excited to see how it plays out!

The Outsiders come to the ring alone, without their third man.  Michael Buffer even apologizes during their entrance for the fact that there are only two.  The announcers blow a gasket at the fact that there are only two.  Mean Gene even comes down the ramp with a “what the hell” look on his face.  He gets in the ring and basically asks “what the hell!?”  Hall says that Gene knows too much already and that all he needs to know is that the third man is here and he’s ready.  Gene asks Nash for confirmation and Nash says don’t worry about it, they’ve got all they need right here.

All three men come out to Sting’s music, which is cool since they’re all in Sting paint.  Sting is the only guy in the trio that has never wrestled anywhere but WCW since the company started, so it makes sense to rally behind Sting for a match like this.

Hall and Luger start off with a shoving match so they start the match as the first two legal men.  Hall throws his toothpick in Luger’s face, so Luger responds with a smack.  Hall starts putting the boots to Luger, but Luger answers an Irish whip with a clothesline and takes out Nash on the apron.  Nash grabs Lex in the corner, though, so as Savage and Sting come in, Lex is trapped and succumbs to a Stinger Splash, sending him to the floor knocked out.  Savage and Sting check on him as the EMTs come out with a gurney for Luger.  It’s actually very interesting that Sting accidentally nailed Luger this time since we’ve had months of Luger accidentally nailing Sting in matches.  Of course, no one is bringing this up, so point for me.  Shane 1, WCW announce team 0.

The EMTs strap Luger to the stretcher and Hall starts trying to beat on him while he’s tied down.  Sting and Savage run him off, though.

I really like the fact that they took Luger out so early.  It evens the match up and makes the ending a bit more believable.  But, I’ll get to that later.

Hall slaps Sting in the face and Sting goes into Beast Mode, spearing Hall and putting the boots to him with a vengeance.  The announcers mention that we’ve never seen Sting act like that and they do a great job of pointing out the stakes of the match and the fact that he just saw his best friend taken out.  Sting tags out to Savage, who goes for a double axe handle, but Hall nails him in the gut and Nash comes in and drops him on the top turnbuckle with snake eyes.  Savage fires back, though, and Hall tags out to Nash.  Nash drops Savage and starts dropping elbows.  Savage goes to roll out of the way of one, but Nash hits him anyway in a really awkward botch.  It works, though, because the announcers are now able to start worrying about whether Savage is out of the match as well.

Tony says that there was a random drawing for the three men in this match…if one is out, bring one of the others out here!

Savage tags out to Sting and Sting is unable to deal with the big man in the ring.  Nash drops him with a slam out of a choke (as opposed to a choke slam) and tags back out to Hall.  Heenan mentions that he never thought he would hear himself cheer for Savage, which is a cool touch since it shows that the announcers are invested in WCW, not their own individual issues.  Hall hits a fallaway slam on Sting and Nash follows up with a big boot before taunting Savage.

Sting hits a dropkick to Nash’s knee that Tony thinks is Nash’s gut for some reason, but Hall is able to cut Sting off from tagging out to Savage.  Sting is able to roll Hall into a small package but the ref is dealing with Savage, unfortunately, so it only comes out to a one count.

“Sure, take them out. Hey, I’m never for an injury in this great sport.  I’m for great competition.  For here, though, I’ll make an exception. HURT SOMEBODY RIGHT NOW!” – Tony Schiavone

I love a quote like that!  If Tony is resorting to the same calls as Bobby Heenan, it adds so much to this match.  So good!

The Outsiders are able to take over the match at this point, though, and hold it for a while beating down on Sting.  Nash is able to hit that big side slam that I love from him as well.

Sting is finally able to fire back and gets the hot tag to Savage and the crowd goes crazy!  Savage is a house of fire, taking out both men, nailing Hall with a double axe handle to the floor and another one in the ring.  Nash hits Savage in the junk, though, and out comes Hulk Hogan!

eDdtcG50MTI_o_wwe-extras-bash-at-the-beach-1996-the-outsiders-vs-randy-300x225Tony: Hulk Hogan!  Hulk Hogan is here!

Dusty: Hulk Hogan is in the building!

Tony: You’re damn right he is!

Dusty: Go get ‘em, Hulkster!

Bobby: Big whose side is he on?!

An awesome call, but I want to put it there to come back to it.

Hogan enters the ring, tears the shirt off and the Outsiders scatter!  Hogan backs up…

…and drops the big leg on Macho Man!

Then he does it again!

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In come the Outsiders and Hogan shakes hands with them.  Hall pulls Savage to the center of the ring and Hogan sends referee Randy Anderson to the floor before dropping a THIRD leg on Savage.  He goes down for the cover, Hall counts it, and Hogan celebrates with the Outsiders as the announcers are stunned.

“Well, I told you so…” – Bobby Heenan

The fans start littering the ring with trash as Mean Gene comes to the ring.

BATB96Gene Okerlund: Hulk Hogan, excuse me. Excuse me. What in the world are you thinking?

Hulk Hogan: Mean Gene the first thing you gotta do is to tell these people to shut up if they want to hear what I’ve gotta say.

Gene Okerlund: I have been with you for so many years for you to join up with the likes of these two men absoulutely makes me SICK to my stomach! And I think that these people here and a lot of people around the whole wrestling world have had just about enough of this man and this man and you want to put yourself in this group? You’ve gotta be…kidding me!

Hulk Hogan: Well the first thing you’ve gotta realize brother is that this right here is the future of wrestling. You can call this the New World Order of wrestling brother. These two men came from a great big organization up north and everybody was wondering about who the third man was. Well who knows more about that organization than me brother?

Gene Okerlund: I’ve been there and done that. You have made the wrong decision in my opinion.

Hulk Hogan: Well let me tell you something, I made that orgainization a monster! I made the people rich up there. I made the people that ran that organization rich up there, brother. And when it all came to pass, the name Hulk Hogan, the man Hulk Hogan, got bigger than the entire organization brother! And then Billionaire Ted, amigo, he wanted to talk turkey with Hulk Hogan. Well Billionaire Ted promised me movies, brother. Billionaire Ted promised me millions of dollars. And Billionaire Ted promised me world caliber matches. And as far as Billionaire Ted goes, Eric Bischoff and whole WCW goes, I’m bored brother. That’s why these two guys here, these so called Outsiders, these are the men I want as my friends. They are the new blood of professional wrestling, brother, and not only are we going to take over the whole wrestling business, with Hulk Hogan, the new blood, the monsters with me. We will destroy everything in our path Mean Gene.

Gene Okerlund: [refering to the increasing garbage being thrown in the ring] Look at all of this crap in this ring! This is what’s in the future for you if you want to hang around the likes of this man Hall, and this man Nash.

Hulk Hogan: As far as I’m concerned, all this crap in this ring represents these fans out here. For two years brother! For two years, I held my head high. I did everything for the charities. I did everything for the kids. And the reception I got when came out here, you fans can stick it, brother. Because if it wasn’t for Hulk Hogan, you people wouldn’t be here. If it wasn’t for Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff would still be selling meat from a truck in Minneapolis. And if it wasn’t for Hulk Hogan, all of these “Johnny come latelys” that you see out here wrestling wouldn’t be here. I was selling the world out, brother, while they were bumming gas to put in their car to get to high school. So the way it is now brother, with Hulk Hogan and the New World Organization of wrestling, brother, me and the new blood by my side. Whatcha gonna do when the New World Organization runs wild on you? Whatcha gonna do?

[Grabs Mean Gene]

Hulk Hogan: What are you gonna do?

Gene Okerlund: Hey, don’t touch me! Don’t touch me, I’m going to see the lawyers! Tony, Dusty, Bobby, Dammit let’s get back to you!

Tony Schiavone: All right. We have seen the end of Hulkamania. For Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, for Dusty Rhodes, For Gene Okerlund, I don’t know…I’m Tony Schiavone. Hulk Hogan, you can go to hell! We’re outta here. Straight to hell.

 

With that, we finish out Bash at the Beach 1996!  I’ll go so far to say that this was the biggest heel turn in the history of professional wrestling.  I honestly think it’s the biggest that there will ever be.  Even if John Cena finally turned heel, it wouldn’t get this big.  Hulk Hogan spent almost fifteen years at this point as the ultimate good guy.  He was Superman.  He conquered evil…it’s just what he did.  He almost took over Sting’s role as the face of WCW.  Then, boom.  He’s the third man.

I remember hearing this news the next morning.  My family was visiting my Dad’s brother in South Carolina during this week.  We had been talking about who the third man might be all weekend since my other family members had been watching wrestling as well.  Our whole train of thought was to try to figure out why hadn’t been seen in WWF for a while, since that matched what had happened with Razor and Diesel.  We were all pretty sure it was going to be Bret Hart since Bret hadn’t been seen since being beaten by Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania in March.

I get up that Monday morning and my aunt Sandy had the paper out, which had a write up about it.

“Do you want to know who the third man was?”

My guts went icy.  Did I want to know?  I knew I would find out when we watched Nitro that night, but here the information was…right in front of me…could I handle it?

“Who was it?” 14 year old me asked, timidly.

“It was Hulk Hogan.”

What?  How?  Hulk Hogan?  The ultimate good guy?  The guy I cheered for?  Yes, even though I’m pretty far in the opposite corner when it comes to Hulk Hogan right now, at the time, I was a fan.  My brother was a fan.  Hulk Hogan…?

“Do you want me to tell your dad, or do you want to tell him?”

That question froze me.  I didn’t want to be the one to tell Dad.  I have no idea why, but at the time I didn’t want to be the guy to have to drop what I felt was the worst news ever.

I eventually did tell Dad and we later watched Nitro to see the fallout.

This, without a doubt, was WCW’s finest moment.  Don’t get me wrong…I love the stuff coming up with Sting, but this is the moment orchestrated and pulled off flawlessly.

One of the things I hear a lot about from this moment is that Bobby Heenan ruined the surprise.  Him asking “But whose side is he on,” they say, gave away the gimmick.  I honestly believe that anyone who feels this way only watched this moment by itself and didn’t watch any of WCW beforehand.  I’ve tried to do a good job of pointing out through the last 10 months that Bobby Heenan has been distrustful of Hulk Hogan for years.  This goes back into their time in WWF, not just the WCW run.  Of course Bobby was going to question Hogan…because that’s what Bobby does!  Not even in the midst of the most jingoistic moment of WCW pride that he’s ever had could Bobby not question Hulk Hogan.  That’s why I also added in the last quote…”I told you so.”  Bobby has been against Hogan the entire time and trying to warn us of this.  Sure, it seems odd if you haven’t been watching, but anyone who had been watching wrestling up to this point knows that Heenan is going to question Hogan’s motives and, honestly, disregarded it.  It just happens that at this point he was right.

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for coming on this journey with me.  It’s been 10 months and about 200,000 words thus far, and there’s tons more to come, but this is one of the big key moments that I’ve been waiting to get to since I started this in September of last year.  Thank you for coming along with me.

For Derick, Robbie, and Phillip…this is Shane…Hulk Hogan, you can go to hell.  Straight to hell.

-Shane

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