The SmarK Retro Repost – Bash At The Beach 98


– Your hosts are Tony, Mike & Bobby.

– Mean Gene shills the hotline while the sound crew works on that Spanish overlay problem the WWF was having in 1995.

– Opening match: Raven v. Saturn. Lodi is dressed like ECW’s Hat Guy in honor of the garbagy ECW-style match which will undoubtedly follow. Saturn is wearing tights again, thankfully, which means he now looks like a wrestler instead of a mongoloid circus freak. Saturn kicks Raven’s butt for a few minutes, but misses a top rope legdrop, and then the match goes to hell. Raven rolls out and grabs a table (called a “chair” by Tony, thus proving once and for all that he’s lost his mind), but it doesn’t get used yet. Is this what Raven is reduced to now? Going right for the lazy garbage spots two minutes in without even attempting to wrestle? Repeat after me: Spot, rest, spot. Saturn has now become the bastard mutant offspring of Taz and Sabu, incorporating their worst parts. Okay, so now Saturn’s trying some wrestling, and then a chair gets brought in and Nick Patrick gets bumped. AAARRRGH. Then in yet another inane spot, Saturn sandwiches Raven between two tables in a series that takes about three minutes to set up and never gets paid off because Kanyon pulls Raven out of the way. Saturn proceeds to blow the spot anyway. Back in the ring, Raven with the DROP TOEHOLD OF DEATH, but it only gets two. The Flock attacks, Saturn fights them off, Raven with the shitty DDT for the pin. ™ Dusty Rhodes Inc., all rights reserved. *1/2 What a bunch of overbooked nonsense.

– Kidman v. Juventud Guerrera. Okay, now we’re talking. The Flair chant makes it’s debut here. Poor Lodi gets creamed a couple of times. Kidman gives Juvy a nasty hotshot on the railing, kicking off a bunch of psychotic spots with very little wrestling in between. When I say psychotic, I mean we’re talking totally brutal stuff. Kidman takes a sunset flip off the apron (which Tony calls a “sidewalk slam”…WHAT THE FUCK IS HE SMOKING???) and his head bounces on the floor. Ouch. Finally back in the ring and Kidman kicks out of a Juvy Driver, but misses the shooting star press. Juvy with the 450 splash for the pin. Man, you absolutely cannot fault them for effort in this one. *** These guys should be fighting for the Cruiserweight title, not Jericho and Deano Machino.

– Stevie Ray v. Chavo Guerrero. The point of this is basically to establish that Stevie is in the building tonight. Stalling by Chavo, then he offers Stevie a handshake, which proves to be so painful for Chavo that he drops to his knees and submits right there, saving himself for Uncle Eddy. DUD.

– Chavo Guerrero v. Eddy Guerrero, hair v. hair. Stall, stall, stall. Chavo’s character entails way too much cheap comedy match stuff. Lots of hiding behind the ref and biting the butt and stuff like that. Then it finally gets going and Eddy is in stiff mofo mode. A good match ensues, which I liked much better than the one last month. They trade each other’s finishers, with Chavo missing a Frog Splash and Eddy hitting a tornado DDT. Eddy wastes time playing with the scissors and Chavo gets his own tornado DDT. Then Chavo wastes time with the scissors and Eddy cradles him for the win. Cheap ending to a good match. ***1/4 Chavo snaps again and Eddy runs off, so Chavo proceeds to do a Jimmy Valient job on himself. He looks better bald, actually.

– SPECIAL ADDED BONUS MATCH! Disco Inferno (w/ Alex Wright) v. Gonnad. Total time-filling comedy match. Luger and Nash accompany Gonnad to ensure that it’ll be a squash. Gonnad does the usual mike-routine, and then we get to see Disco completely devolve back to his original gimmick: The disco dancing goof who worries so much about his hair that he blows the big match. What a shame, he was showing so much promise until that match with Miss Jackie flushed his career down the crapper. A couple of minutes of Gonnad offense, then Luger takes out Wright on the outside, which distracts the ref and allows Nash to powerbomb Wright and Gonnad gets the win. ™ Dusty Rhodes Inc., all rights reserved. DUD.

– Giant v. Kevin Greene. Certainly not as horrible as it could have been. Greene stays out of his way for a bit, then Giant takes over. Greene certainly has enthusiasm, can’t fault him for that. Greene with a good flying clothesline, but then he charges Giant in the corner and gets chokeslammed. See ya. *1/2 The point of this eludes me as always, but one of these days WCW will stumble upon an angle to go with their PPVs, hopefully.

– Chris Jericho lets us know that he wants us to want him, and proceeds to do a softshoe. Well, no, because JoJo Dillon instead offers him a challenger to defend against tonight. Hey, what’s that coming down fifth avenue…oh, it’s just a blatantly obvious WCW angle.

– Chris Jericho v. Rey Mysterio Jr. Rey looks *good*. Bulked up and tanned. Good start, and then *whoosh*, right down the commode. After about two minutes of good wrestling, they suddenly brawl to the prop beach and do some goofy spots on the sand (Tony: “Sand can be very irritating”) Then back to the ring, where they use a chair. Hey, this is supposed to be a CRUISERWEIGHT TITLE MATCH. Save this bullshit for Raven’s matches. Just boring garbage wrestling, which neither guy is particularly suited for, which indicates that Rey’s knee is not up to snuff. Rey blows the rana (not a good sign for the knee) but Chris can’t get the Liontamer. He tries again, and Rey reverses for the pin. Deano Machino can’t make it out in time to distract Jericho to make the reversal make sense, which just makes this that much more of a mess. Mysterio is the new champion. ** Dean and Chris brawl to the back, where Arn Anderson holds Jericho, but nothing else comes of it. And that’s that. Not a good match, at all.

– TV title match: Booker T v. Bret Hart. How art the mighty have fallen. Bret has to win here, period. If he doesn’t walk out with the TV title, it’s pretty much a write-off for him in WCW, I’d say. Bret works on the knee, and then goes back to the FIVE MOVES OF DOOM. Which usually indicates that Bret can’t be bothered to make an effort. Fans are catatonic. Booker T comeback, axe kick, pancake, missile dropkick, but Bret’s in the ropes. He rolls out and smacks Booker with a chair, drawing a lame DQ. ™ Dusty Rhodes Inc., all rights reserved. The Splotch of Evil is all over this show. Bret destroys Booker’s knee (which already has a huge brace on it). Stevie Ray saunters out and sort of makes the save, in that Bret eventually stops at a time that happened to coincide with the moment that Stevie finished his walk to the ring. Geez, just start the latest brother v. brother feud already and get it over with. I’m personally counting the days to Stevie Ray & Big Poppa Pump v. Rick Steiner & Booker T in the match to demonstrate once and for all that WCW is completely lacking in creativity.

– A special look at GOOOOOOOLLLLLLLDBERG which pretty much buries Scott Hall (as if that match didn’t do it already).

– WCW World title squash: GOOOOOOLLLLLDBERG v. Designated Victim #112. I think that the blond guy used to be World champion at one point, but it was so long ago….hey, look, it’s Goldberg! Wow, he’s added a clothesline and everything! What a guy! Oh, look, it’s been almost three minutes, he’d better hurry up before the fans get bored. SPEAR! JACKHAMMER! Wow, what a champion. I’ll give WCW one thing, if Goldberg keeps squashing his contenders in under four minutes the WCW title will regain some prestige pretty quick. Oh, yeah, he was fighting Hennig, forgot to mention. 1/4* Cue the canned chant, next match.

– Hulk Hogan & Rodzilla v. Karl Malone & DDP. I take that back, I’d rather watch the last match 6 times to fill the half-hour that this match has to fill. The announcers seem awfully defensive about the mainstream coverage that they’re telling us this match will receive. Here’s a hint, Tony: Rodman drunk at a Pearl Jam concert was a fairly major entertainment story, this is not. That is where this match stands on the media totem pole. DDP and Malone have matching outfits, aww isn’t cute. Let the stalling begin! And what stalling! Hogan must have coached Rodzilla for weeks on how to avoid actually wrestling. He’s the best, you know. Stall, stall, headlock, stall, stall. Hogan’s in and it’s…more stalling! Then just for a change, they stall some more! Bodyslam, DDP’s in, and it’s more stalling! Massive “Boring” chant erupts at various points during this excrutiating feeling-out process. DDP and Rodman have a spitting contest. Armdrag by Rodman, and MORE stalling. Another “Boring” chant, and I mean a LOUD chant, breaks out again. Rodman with two leapfrogs and then he f*cks up a shoulderblock, drawing boos instead of “boring” chants. I’m giving 2:1 odds that he was on some illegal substance tonight. Hogan and Malone in, more stalling. Finally, Malone gets decked by Rodman and something resembling a wrestling match starts up about *10 minutes* in. I kid you not. Two of Hogan’s World title victories could be fit into this match so far. Malone gets choked like the Jazz did. Page tags in and gets beat up, too. Then Hogan and Rodman set the wayback machine for 1987 and pull out every two-bit tag team cliche that the fans were sick of in 1988. Rodman chokes DDP in the corner, DDP tries to fight out of a front facelock to make the tag, the heels beat on DDP while the ref escorts Malone out, etc. Finally Malone gets the hot tag and cleans house with some devastating bodyslams, and then patiently waits for Rodman to get into position so he can do a DOUBLE-NOGGIN-KNOCKER, just to send the business back 10 years again. Does Hogan *really* think this rinky-dink shit still works today? DDP with a Diamond Cutter on Hogan and Malone with a Diamond Cutter on Rodman, but the ref escorts the basketball players out, allowing the Disciple to complete the 80s booking by Stunnering DDP and putting Hogan on top for the pin. ™ Dusty Rhodes Inc., all rights reserved. 1/4* Malone takes out the ref.

– The nWo celebrates as though anyone cares about them.

The Bottom Line:

If there’s a direction for the company buried in all this, I sure can’t see it. Jericho-Malenko is the Energizer bunny feud of the year, Rey is the new champion and no one cares, the fans got three minutes of Goldberg after basically sleeping through the entire undercard in anticipation of seeing him, Bret is going nowhere, Nash is reduced to cheap run-ins against jobbers, and what *is* the Wolfpac doing these days, anyway? That whole angle is just absolutely running in circles thanks to backstage politics. And please, enough with the non-wrestlers in main event matches.

I guess I could be positive and say that Juvy-Kidman was pretty good, but I have two or three **** matches between them on my Thunder tapes, so tonight’s match left me pretty cold. And Jericho-Mysterio was just sad.

This federation needs an enema, pronto. Fire all the bookers and let someone with new ideas give it a go.

Thumbs down.