Thursday, 11 July 2019

PPV REVIEW: WCW Bash at the Beach 1999

WCW Bash at the Beach 1999 - Event poster
July 11, 1999
National Car Rental Center, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

WCW's Bash at the Beach pay per view is always considered as something of a milestone here at Retro Pro Wrestling.

We didn't start covering WCW shows properly until Bash at the Beach 1996, the event made famous by Hulk Hogan turning heel to form the nWo.

That event kicked off the company's most successful run ever. It was a run that saw them dominate the competition. It was a run that saw them hold a legitimate claim to the title of 'Hottest Pro Wrestling Company in the World.'

It was a run that, by the time Bash at the Beach 1999 came around, was basically over.

By this point, the nWo was essentially nothing more than a jobber gang, the World Wrestling Federation had reclaimed their position atop the pro wrestling mountain, and Hogan himself was nowhere in sight.

What made things worse, is that recent shows like The Great American Bash 1999 had bombed, at least from a quality standpoint, thanks to questionable decisions like having a match ending by pre-recorded dog attack.






Still, there was always a chance that the company could at least put on a decent show every once in a while.

Was tonight's event one such show?

Let's head down to Florida to find out.

Separating the Men from The Boys

WCW Bash at the Beach 1999 - Tony Schiavone & Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan
Tonight's show began with one of WCW's typically terrible opening video packages. This one highlighted the four men in tonight's main event; Macho Man Randy Savage, Sid Vicious, Sting, and WCW Champion Kevin Nash.

Savage and Sid would be teaming up to take on Sting and Nash in a tag team match. The video merely showed each man looking dangerous and dominant in clips that were quickly spliced together to the sound of some generic heavy metal music.

Honestly, the whole thing looked like some fan-made video a 14-year-old might post on YouTube.

With that out of the way, we went, as always, to the announce table where Tony Schiavone and Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan were waiting to welcome us.

Schiavone told us that a new twist had been added to tonight's tag team match.

If either Savage, Sid, or even Nash's own tag team partner Sting, could pin Nash tonight, they'd become the new champion. Trust WCW to make even a simple tag team match complicated and dumb.

WCW Bash at the Beach 1999 - Mike Tenay ready for the Junkyard Battle Royal
If you're wondering why Iron Mike Tenay wasn't at the announce table, that's because he was down at the junkyard. We even got a handy graphic to tell us that's where he was in case the mountain of scrap cars just in case Schiavone saying "Mike Tenay is at the junkyard" didn't give it away.

We went to Tenay -via a quick hotline shill from Mean Gene Okerlund- next, and he told us all about tonight's upcoming Junkyard Hardcore Invitational Match in which a bunch of wrestlers would fight it out, with the winner being the first man to escape the junkyard.

I know this match has been largely derided online, but as someone who has never actually seen it, your writer is quite looking forward to that one.

Alas, we'll have to wait for that one as up first came Ernest 'The Cat' Miller and that ridiculous theme music he has on the WWE Network.

Ernest 'The Cat' Miller (w/ Sonny Onoo) vs. Disco Inferno

WCW Bash at the Beach 1999 - Ernest 'The Cat' Miller faced Disco Inferno
We normally cut Disco Inferno some slack around these parts. Though not the greatest wrestler in the world, he knew how to play the cowardly, deluded heel better than many, and it was usually this well-performed character that elevated his matches to some degree.

Here, however, he was playing the babyface against an Ernest Miller whose character sadly wasn't enough to hide his abysmal ring work.

As such, this one pretty much sucked.

Things started with Miller threatening to "whoop everybody" about fifty times and challenging Disco a dance contest before attacking the 70 throwbacks as he shook his booty.

From there, we got an uninspired match that had only one redeeming quality:

The fact that it eventually ended.

That ending came when The Cat put on his loaded red dancing shoe and kicked Disco upside the head while Sonny Onoo distracted the referee.
Your Winner: Ernest Miller

Out in the WCW Internet Location, boxing referee and Celebrity Death Match star Judge Mills Lane told Mark Madden that, as special guest referee, he would cut Rowdy Roddy Piper and Buff Bagwell some slack -but not a lot of slack- when the two met in a boxing match later on tonight.

World Championship Wrestling World Television Championship
WCW Television Champion Rick Steiner vs. Van Hammer

WCW Bash at the Beach 1999 - Rick Steiner defended the TV title against Van Hammer
Prior to this one getting started, we were shown a video package which told us how Van Hammer got his title shot. Basically, he won a bunch of matches then asked WCW President Ric Flair for a title shot. Flair gave him a shot at Rick Steiner, and here we were.

For Steiner's part, he began the match by cutting a promo reminding us that he and brother Scott Steiner had reunited and claimed that the two were "running the show."

Once the bell rang, the whole thing turned into a hot pile of garbage. Steiner hit Van Hammer with such brutal offence that you actually felt bad for the challenger, especially when The Dog Faced Gremlin refused to sell any of his opponent's offence, including a chair to the face.

At one point, long-time veteran Ric Steiner apparently forgot how the rules of pro wrestling had worked for decades and tried to pin Hammer on the outside. It looked stupid and made everybody involved look stupid too.

When the referee refused to count the pin, Steiner simply no sold more offence and bullied his way to a win courtesy of a top rope bulldog.

Man, that was bad.
Your Winner and Still TV Champion: Rick Steiner

Before the next match, we went back to the hardcore junkyard, where Mike Tenay told us that they had no idea about who would be competing in tonight's match besides Hardcore Hak and Brian Knobs.

While I get that this was probably a kayfabe way of hyping the 'invitational' aspect of the match, it wouldn't surprise me at all if WCW legitimately had no idea who would be competing in one of the show's biggest matches.

Up next, David Flair: US Champion

World Championship Wrestling United States Championship
WCW United States Champion David Flair (w/ Tori Wilson, Ric Flair, Charles Robinson, Arn Anderson & Aysa) vs. Dean Malenko

WCW Bash at the Beach 1999 - United States Champion David Flair w/ Torrie Wilson
Flair had been handed the title by his father, Ric, and was defending it here against Dean Malenko in what was barely even a match.

Malenko basically wrestled himself for a minute before his entourage stormed the ring. Arn Anderson hit the spinebuster on the referee, Robinson donned a referees shirt, and Flair hit Malenko with the title belt as The Man of 1,000 Holds held Aysa in the Texas Cloverleaf.

One three count later and David Flair retained the title.

I've often said that I've never seen a bad Dean Malenko match, but this was about as close as you'll ever get to such a thing. Still, nobody could blame Malenko here. The booking and execution of this thing was utter garbage.
Your Winner and Still US Champion: David Flair

Afterwards, Anderson beat up on Malenko some more.

Eight Man Elimination Tag Team Match
West Texas Rednecks (Curt Hennig, Barry Windham, Bobby Duncum Jr., Kendal Windham) vs. No Limit Soldiers (WCW Cruiserweight Champion Rey Mysterio Jr., Konnan,  SWOL and BA w/ Chase & 4x4)

WCW Bash at the Beach 1999 - Curt Hennig of the West Texas Rednecks
Curt Hennig and the West Texas Rednecks were booked to be the heels here, even though half the crowd were singing along to their theme song, Rap is Crap.

Can you blame them, though? That tune was catchy.

Here, the group looked to settle their country vs. rap feud once and for all by locking up with Rey Mysterio Jr., Konnan, Brad 'BA' Armstrong, and Master P's bodyguard, SWOL in an eight-man elimination match.

The weird role reversal thing continued once the match got underway as the heels were constantly booked to look like the underdogs, forever outnumbered by their opponents and almost constantly on the defence.

Still, the illogical booking aside, this turned out to be by far the best match on the show so far.

OK, so that's not exactly saying much given what we've already seen, but hey, at this point, I'll take whatever I can get.

Of course, the highlights all came courtesy of Rey Jr, who was undoubtedly the workhorse of his team and got all the biggest pops of the night by trading offence with Hennig, Barry Windham, Kendal Windham and Bobby Dunacum Jr.

He was also one of the last two men standing for his team, along with SWOL, finally eliminating sole-surviving West Texas Redneck Curt Hennig to win the match for the soldiers.
Your Winners: No Limit Soldiers (Rey Mysterio and SWOL remain as sole survivors)

Up next, ladies and gentlemen, we'd finally get to our junkyard match, but not before taking a breather so that Schiavone and Heenan could run down the rest of the card.

We also got a quick look back at how Hardcore Hak invited everyone to compete in his junkyard match.

Junkyard Hardcore Invitational Match
Featuring: Hardcore Hak, Brian Knobbs, Fit Finlay, Jerry Flynn, Public Enemy, Steven Regal, La Parka, Horace Hogan and others.

WCW Bash at the Beach 1999 - Junkyard Battle Royal
Remember earlier, when I said I was actually looking forward to watching this one?

Yeah, man, was I ever disappointed.

Like almost everything on this show so far, the whole thing was terrible.

The action itself wasn't necessarily bad, although saying that, it might well have been. The match was so dark and poorly lit that you couldn't really see what was going on, or even who was involved.

It was like trying to watch the Doomsday Cage Match at Uncensored 1996 all over again, spending most of the time just trying to figure out what was happening.

Despite being Hak's match, he was shown on camera for all of a nanosecond, doing nothing more than staggering around on top of a car.

The rest of the wrestlers, including a returning Public Enemy, just kind of wandered around in the dark hitting each other with stuff for what seemed like an eternity until Fit Finlay finally escaped the junkyard to win the match.
Your Winner: Fit Finlay

"Man, what a great match," lied Bobby Heenan afterwards.

Up next, we got a look back at how the build-up to the upcoming tag team match pitting tag team champions The Jersey Triad against Chris Benoit and Perry Saturn.

World Championship Wrestling World Tag Team Champions
WCW Tag Team Champions The Jersey Triad (Chris Kanyon and Bam Bam Bigelow w/ Diamond Dallas Page) vs. Chris Benoit & Perry Saturn

WCW Bash at the Beach 1999 - Bam Bam Bigelow puts a hurtin' on Perry Saturn
Throughout this match I went back and forth on listing who the official participants were for The Jersey Triad until I realised that all three men were swapping in and out, basically making this a handicap match.

Despite the odds being against the challengers Benoit and Saturn held their own against Diamond Dallas Page, Kayon, and Bam Bam Bigelow in the early going before finally succumbing to the number's game.

The result was the best match on the card by a thousand miles, though to be honest, your writer was so burned out from all the garbage that went before it that I actually found myself less enthusiastic about this one as I'd like to be.

still, even with all your energy drained, there's no denying that the five men worked incredibly well together to produce a solid effort which ended with a win for the champions.
Your Winners and Still WCW Tag Team Champions: The Jersey Triad

Up next, we were taken back to Nitro, where Judge Mills Lane announced that he would be the special referee for the Piper/Bagwell boxing match.

"Next Sunday, let's get it on in California in Florida!" yelled Lane.

10-Round Boxing Match
Rowdy Roddy Piper (w/ Ric Flair) vs. Buff Bagwell (w/ Judy Bagwell)

Special referee: Judge Mills Lane

WCW Bash at the Beach 1999 - Judy Bagwell accompanied her son Buff in a boxing match agianst Booker T
In The Great American Bash 1999 review, I said that Buff Bagwell was so popular that he could have easily enjoyed a solid main event run.

Then, he brought his mum out to be his second in this boxing match and all but killed any momentum he might have had.

The match itself was a far cry from Piper's boxing match with Mr T back at Wrestlemania 2. To be fair, I don't remember that being very good either, but at least it was more than a non-descript five minutes of nothing.

The end came when, in true WCW fashion, Buff Bagwell won a boxing match by pinfall.

Honestly, this f'n show.
Your Winner: Buff Bagwell

Finally, we got a look at the convoluted build-up to tonight's main event.

World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship
WCW World Heavyweight Champion Kevin Nash & Sting vs. Sid Vicious & Macho Man Randy Savage (w/ Gorgeous George, Miss Madness, and Madusa)

WCW Bash at the Beach 1999 - Macho Man Randy Savage, Gorgeous George, Sid Vicious
As Randy Savage and Sid Vicious made their way to the ring, Michael Buffer told us that the two cared little about title belts, which kind of made you wonder why they'd bother fighting for one in the first place.

Whether they wanted the title or not, Savage and Sid certainly battled like they did, taking the fight to Nash and Sting in a relatively average main event.

In the early going, Gorgeous George defected to the champion's corner, then stood by with Nash as Sting did most of the work for his team.

Predictably, George eventually turned on Nash, helping Savage to pin him and become our new WCW Champion.
Your Winner and NEW WCW World Heavyweight Champion: Macho Man Randy Savage

Savage celebrated his big win as this absolutely awful show went off the air.





You know, I've reviewed around 15 years' worth of pro wrestling shows on this blog so far, and I don't remember the last time I was more disappointed, frustrated, and downright miserable watching anything as much as I was watching Bash at the Beach 1999.

Though I'm sure I've reviewed worse shows in the past, I honestly can't think of any off the top of my head.

Only the tag team title match was any good on this one, but if you're anything like me, you might be so fed up by everything else on the card that you don't enjoy it as much as you otherwise could.

My advice? Go straight to that one match and avoid everything else that came before and after it.

Thank goodness there are only another 18 months or so worth of WCW pay per views to watch. I'm not sure I can take much more of this.



1999 events reviewed so far
Other WCW Bash at the Beach reviews
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