The Bash At The Beach 1996 AKA The PPV That Changed Professional Wrestling Forever Review Part 1

I had to split this review into two parts because it ended up being too long for 1 article. I’ll post the rest tomorrow.

I decided to use the WWE Network to relive the most famous WCW Pay-Per-View of all time The Bash at The Beach 1996. This Event is known for one thing and one thing only, the Formation of the NWO. But I wanted to look at the show and see what else happened and see just how enjoyable the PPV was. When this PPV aired I was 9 at the time I didn’t really follow WCW that much though I did channel surf between Raw and Nitro during this time. There was 9 matches on the card in total, 2 of which were for a title. How was he show? Let’s dig in and find out.

Rey Mysterio Vs. Psychosis (15:18)
The Cruiserweights especially the Lucha Libre contingency of the Cruiserweights, were always a good choice to open the show off with a bang. They always put on great matches and these two did not disappoint. The pace was fast with Mysterio using the High Flying and aerial type maneuvers while Psychosis used a more mat based submission style while mixing in some High Flying moves of his own. The styles meshed perfectly. It’s hard to believe here in 2014 that in 1996 Rey Mysterio was only 21 years old. Rey when he was healthy was as good a wrestler as anyone on the planet. I’d love to have a time machine and take a 23 Year Old Rey Mysterio and pit him against a in his prime Bret Hart and see what kind of match we would get. I’d bet it would be a match that no one could duplicate even if they tried. Rey Mysterio won with a top rope Frankenstiener countered from a Sitout Crucifix Powerbomb or Splash Mountain attempt.

Following the match was an Interview with United States Champion Konnan.
The Interview was short and to the point. Basically Konnan said he was going to do whatever it took to keep The US Championship and beat 13-time World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair, even if he had to take out Flairs women in the process. There was a funny moment when “Mean” Gene Okerlund asked Konnan to explain what the moves at the end the previous match was since no one but Mike Tenay seemed to know what they were called.

John Tenta vs Big Bubba w/ Jimmy Hart Carson City Silver Dollar Match (9:14)
Ah! I missed these kinds of matches…. NOT!!! The famous something on a Pole match that WCW was famous for. This time it was a sock full of silver dollars. Also who in their right mind asks 2 300+ pound wrestlers to climb a 15 foot pole for something? Big Bubba AKA The Big Boss Man was 315 points and John Tenta who was wrestling this match under his real name but WWF was known as Earthqauke tipped the scales at 488 pounds. Somebody really did not think this through when they came up with it. RIP to both men by the way. It took Little Jimmy Hart to climb the pole to get the sock and even that didn’t look safe. The match itself was nothing really to speak about although the crowd did pop pretty loudly when Tenta clocked Bubba with the Sock for the win. After pinning Bubba, Tenta untied the sock and dumped all the Silver Dollars on him and placed two over his eyes.

Following the match is a Promo with the Three Men Defending WCW from the Invading forces of the Outsiders and their mystery partner The Face Paint Trio of “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Sting, and WCW Television Champion Lex Lugar. It was the basic, “we don’t care who the third man is because we are going to beat them up just the same as we are going to beat the Outsiders up and shut them up once and for all” promo.

Taped Fists Match / Lord of the Ring Match Diamond Dallas Paige vs “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan (5:39)
This match was for Paige’s Battle Bowl Ring that Paige won when he won the Lord of the Ring match at Slamboree which was supposed to come with a WCW World Heavyweight Championship Title Shot but it was taken from him by the WCW Executive Committee and given to Lex Lugar. This Match had a special rule which allowed Paige and Duggan to tape their fists in order to hit each other harder. Thus making a Knockout a possible finish to the match along with the typical Submission and Pinfall wins. These two were two of my favorite growing up so to see a match between them makes me giddy. The match was alright for what it was. A short 5 minute match that saw both trying to beat the brains out of each other. Paige won by kicking the ropes when Duggan was getting back into the ring from the outside which set up the Diamond Cutter for the 3 count. While Paige got to keep his Battle bowl ring he got knocked out by Duggan after the match who had super taped his fists beforehand.

Following the match is another backstage Promo. This time with The Taskmaster and WCW World Heavyweight Champion The Giant. They will be facing 2 members of the 4 Horsemen later in the night Arn Anderson and Chris Benoit. Kevin Sullivan cut a decent promo about not being the weak link in the Dungeon of Doom but it was The Giant who stole the promo with his defense of Sullivan and delivering the line that they would be having some horse stew later tonight. You could see that the man who would become known as The Big Show was going to become something special from this promo. Following the promo Benoit and Anderson were on the stage for an interview as a rebuttal of sorts to Giants and Taskmaster’s Promo. Important thing to take note of is if The Horsemen win than 1 of the Horsemen will get a World Title match on Nitro. I loved Benoit as a wrestler but man could he not cut a promo. It felt like I was listening to nails on a chalkboard while I was listening to that promo.

The Nasty Boys vs The Public Enemy Double Dog Collar Match (11:25)
Fourth match into the PPV and the third with a stipulation, another WCW tradition I don’t miss. When WCW does something they go for the overkill on it. This was a comedy match through and through. I’ve seen people lock on a Surfboard submission hold but I had never seen anyone beat someone up with a Surfboard before. Heenan and Rhodes had a field day with this match delivering one-liners in a way that only they could on commentary. The Nasty Boys won after clotheslining one of the members of The Public Enemy into the chain while the other was being hung over the ropes. The Fight continued after the match so really nothing was settled by this match. The good news is this is the last stipulation match of the evening.

I will continue with the second half of the Review tomorrow.