Bash at the Beach ’96

(All screen captures are the property of World Wrestling Entertainment)

Bash at the Beach

July 7, 1996

Ocean Center

Daytona Beach, Florida

News & Notes: WCW chose their team to face The Outsiders. They placed six names in a hat. They chose the names based on their win/loss record. The names were Sting, Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, The Giant, Lex Luger, and Ric Flair. WCW randomly drew three of those names to create their squad. The names they picked were Sting, Randy Savage, and Lex Luger. It seems odd they would leave an important decision up to chance, but I get it. They wanted a kayfabe reason for Hogan not making the team.

Meanwhile, The Outsiders continued invading Nitro. They jumped the guardrail with baseball bats in their hands. This distraction allowed Harlem Heat to roll up Lex Luger and win the tag team titles. Police then surrounded the ring to prevent Hall & Nash from attacking. The next week, The Outsiders appeared in the front row. Security tried to make them leave, but Hall & Nash revealed they bought tickets. They spent the night heckling the wrestlers. Then, Nash somehow swiped a house mic and taunted WCW. They tried to storm the commentary booth, but wrestlers and security stopped them. Security then forced The Outsiders to leave. They sped away into the night in a convertible.

I have one last note. Kevin Sullivan tells an amusing story about this show. He says they chose the location because there were multiple bars in the vicinity. They wanted the Daytona fans liquored up for the end of this event. WCW felt it would make for a better reaction to what happens. It works.

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The show opens with a rather generic video package. Stock music plays over clips of The Outsiders invading Nitro. They show multiple angles of Bischoff going through a table at The Great American Bash. We also get slow-motion shots of Hall & Nash. But, there is no narration. This was a disappointing intro for an important show. WCW could learn a lot from the WWF about hype packages.

Then, Tony Schiavone welcomes everyone to Daytona and Bash at the Beach. The excessive pyro almost drowns him out. The commentators have police guarding them. They haven’t heard from or seen Eric Bischoff all day. Dusty thinks The Outsiders took him hostage. Heenan says the energy level is so high. He suggests they do the main event first. They can’t, so Bobby is anxious to get through the rest of the matches.

Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Psychosis

Notes: Mysterio and Psychosis wrestled in Mexico and ECW. Now, WCW brought this match-up to its own program. It’s a great way to showcase the ever-growing cruiserweight division. Psychosis debuted on a Clash of the Champions earlier in the year. This is his first appearance on PPV. Heenan can’t help but joke about Psychosis’ hair. He compares him to Peg Bundy. (He also says Rey has Demi Moore’s hair. She did G.I. Jane not long before this.) Mikey Tenay joins the commentary to keep everyone focused on the action. He explains about masked wrestlers in Mexico. They treat them like comic book heroes.

The Match: They trade mat holds and submissions until Psychosis sends Rey to the floor. Psychosis then dives onto him, but he hits his own head on the rail. He’s fine, so he gives Rey multiple leg drops. He hits one on the mat, one off the top, and one on the apron. They use more submissions before returning to the apron. There, Rey monkey flips Psychosis into the post. Rey follows with a few hurricanranas and then focuses on Psychosis’ leg. Psychosis fights back and hangs Rey out on the ropes. Rey ends up outside where Psychosis nails a flying senton to the floor! (Is he trying to break his own tailbone!?) Rey recovers and uses more hurricanranas. He also lands a twisting Asai Moonsault, but Rey whacks his knee on the rail. Then, Psychosis regains control. He takes Rey to the top for a super Splash Mountain Bomb. However, Rey turns it into a hurricanrana in mid-air! It’s enough for a pin.

Thoughts: This was a great match. I like how they slowly built to the big spots. Both men seemed determined to hurt themselves, but it made for exciting action. The fans appreciated it and they reacted big to the finish. I saw them use that same sequence in ECW, but this is a new audience. It got the response they wanted. Action like this is why the cruiserweight division becomes a highlight of WCW.

Winner: Rey Mysterio Jr. (15:18)

Mean Gene interviews Konnan. Konnan explains the end of the previous match before talking about his own bout. Gene talks about Konnan’s hectic schedule and his match with Flair. Gene believes Ric is overconfident. Konnan agrees. Flair has an entourage, but Konnan hasn’t been in WCW long enough to have friends. (Aw, that’s sad.) However, Konnan threatens to attack anyone that gets involved in the match. That includes the women. (Now, I know why he doesn’t have friends.) Konnan promises to go home with the U.S. Title. He also says, “Viva Mexico!” (This was not bad. Konnan is getting better at promos.)

Carson City Silver Dollar Match: John Tenta vs. Big Bubba Rogers (w/ Jimmy Hart)

Notes: Tenta defeated Bubba again, but Bubba attacked him with a sock full of silver dollars. Then, he shaved half of Tenta’s beard. They signed this match as a result. The loaded sock is on top of a pole. The wrestler that grabs it first can use it. For some reason, the pole is a good twenty feet high. I don’t know how either man can climb it. (Is this a rib on them?) On a side-note, they dubbed Bubba’s theme on the network. I thought it was generic stock music, but apparently there were rights issues. Also, Tenta still hasn’t cut the rest of his hair. But, he did shave the beard. He still doesn’t have music.

The Match: Tenta knocks Bubba down with shoulder blocks. Then, both men stop each other from climbing the pole. Tenta slams Bubba. Rogers counters by giving him a back suplex off the ropes. Bubba also uses his comical windmill punch. When Tenta regains control, he tries unstrapping the pole from the ring. This gives Bubba an opening to remove his belt. He chokes Tenta with it. Bubba also tapes John to the ropes with some athletic tape. Rogers then whips John and grabs some scissors. He wants to cut the rest of Tenta’s hair. But, John kicks Bubba low. He uses the scissors to cut the tape. He also uses them to try and cut the straps holding the pole. However, Bubba stops him with headbutts and a spinebuster. He then realizes he’s not climbing that pole. Bubba tells Jimmy Hart to do it instead. Jimmy shimmies up and grabs the sock. While this happens, Tenta gives Bubba a powerslam. Hart didn’t see it, so he’s shocked to find Tenta waiting. John takes the sock and nails Bubba for the win.

Thoughts: This was a bit better than their last match, but that’s not saying much. It had some amusing moments. I didn’t hate it, but I’m glad this feud is over. They kept the bout the right length. The fans reacted well to the finish. It also brings some variety to the show, so I didn’t mind it. This was a stark contrast to the opening encounter.

Winner: John Tenta (9:14)

After the bell, Tenta opens the sock and dumps the coins on Bubba. He then places them on Rogers’ eyes. (That’s nice. Bubba can pay the ferryman to cross the River Styx.) Meanwhile, Tony begs Bischoff to call them if he’s watching. They want to know where he is.

Gene is with Team WCW. They’re all wearing Sting’s face paint. Gene talks about the Hostile Takeover Match. He asks Savage if he knows who the third man is. Randy doesn’t care. They will get hurt no matter what. It’s an equal opportunity-type situation! Then, Luger says they’re prepared. He calls it an honor and a privilege to represent WCW. Luger has a point, but he beats around the bush. Savage becomes impatient and tells him to say it already. Luger’s point is The Outsiders talked a lot of trash. But, actions speak louder than words. Next, Sting speaks about the unknown. It gives him a dry mouth, chills, and goosebumps. Sting likes that! He says it does the same to the rest of his team. Savage says they’re pumped for this one. Everyone then yells, growls, and poses for the camera as they leave.

Taped Fist Match: Diamond Dallas Page vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan

Notes: DDP accused Jim Duggan of stealing his Battlebowl ring. Duggan denied this. He didn’t steal it. He found it on the floor of a bathroom. (Were Benoit and Sullivan fighting in there when he found it?) He gave the ring back to Page and then punched him with a taped fist. Duggan is still doing the taped-fist gimmick, so this is a Taped Fist Match. It’s for the Lord of the Ring title. (Also, I want to point out something amusing. During the entrances, we get the first instance of Crab Cam! They attached a camera to a toy crab. It runs around the beach set.)

The Match: Duggan sends DDP out of the ring with shoulder blocks. Page counters with a hotshot. He then ties Duggan’s feet around the ring post with athletic tape. (That’s two matches in a row! WCW needs their road agents to prevent so many repeated spots.) While Nick Patrick frees Duggan, DDP uses scissors to cut the tape off Jim’s fists. But, Duggan catches Dallas in the ropes. They do a see-saw spot. Then, Duggan whips DDP into the rail and the post. He follows that with an apron suplex. However, Dallas blocks another one by grabbing the ropes. Jim retakes control with more clotheslines, and they fight to the floor. When they return to the ring, Dallas kicks the ropes into Duggan’s crotch. He uses the opening to nail the Diamond Cutter for the win.

Thoughts: DDP worked his magic again. He kept this entertaining enough to be enjoyable. I’m not saying it was great. But, it was a fun match. Page plays his character well. The thing is, the fans are turning in his favor. He can’t remain a heel for much longer at this rate. They cheered the Diamond Cutter.

Winner: Diamond Dallas Page (5:39)

Duggan almost immediately stops selling. (Come on, man!) DDP celebrates while Duggan tapes his fist. When Page turns, Duggan punches him. Nick Patrick tries handing DDP his ring, but he realizes Page is unconscious.

Gene invites The Giant, Kevin Sullivan, and Jimmy Hart in for an interview. He calls Hart a twerp again. The Giant and Sullivan will face Arn Anderson & Chris Benoit. Gene thinks they will prevent The Giant from entering the ring and double-team Kevin. That burns up Sullivan’s gut. He says he has the home-court advantage. (Sullivan is from Florida.) The Horsemen think Sullivan is the weak link. He tells Gene to ask The Giant if that’s true. The Giant reassures Sullivan he isn’t a weak link. He calls him the backbone of the Dungeon of Doom. (Sullivan does a comical salute while he says this.) He brought The Giant to WCW to reclaim his birthright. The Giant also takes exception to the Horsemen calling themselves the elite. (That’s a good point. They don’t even work for AEW!) The Giant says he’s the elite because he is the WCW champion. He then threatens to make horse stew. Next, Jimmy Hart says the best of the Horsemen will face the best of the Dungeon. Gene counters by telling Jimmy to brush his teeth.

Meanwhile, Lee Marshall is on the beach set with Anderson & Benoit. (Arn looks like a school teacher with those glasses.) Lee says one of the Horsemen will get a WCW title opportunity on Nitro if they win the tag match. But, Arn wants to discuss The Outsiders first. He’s no fan of Sting, Luger, & Savage, but he thinks they will win. He dares The Outsiders to jump the Horsemen next. Arn also claims people in Daytona spoke with him about his match. They said Sullivan would beat him up for what he did. But, Arn isn’t worried. He says if they chop the Giant in half, he’s only 3’6”. Benoit speaks next. He has trouble controlling the volume of his VOICE! He calls himself silent but violent. They tolerated the Dungeon of Doom for too long. Tonight they will finish it, and Benoit will leave Sullivan for dead. (Oof, that didn’t age well.)

Double Dog Collar Match: The Nasty Boys vs. Public Enemy

Notes: These two teams are still feuding. It started back in January. The matches were surprisingly fun and the fans like it. I understand why WCW keeps going to this well. But, it would be nice to see other pairings. Now, they face each other in a Double Dog Collar Match. During the entrances, Dusty calls the table plunder. Heenan thinks he means a plunger. (I also have to point out one of my all-time favorite Dustyisms. They show a split-screen of the action. Rhodes calls it a Double-Trouble Bash at the Beach Bubble. I laughed hard the first time I heard it.)

The Match: They immediately brawl to the floor. Everyone pairs off, so they show a split-screen. They use the chain, chairs, and trash cans as weapons. Rocco tries walking the rail but Sags crotches him. Then, they fight to the beach set. Knobbs hits Grunge with a rubber shark. It amuses Dusty to no end. Sags also nails Rock with a surfboard. (It’s an actual surfboard. I don’t mean the submission hold.) Next, Rocco keeps climbing the lifeguard stand. It doesn’t end well for him either time. But, they put Sags through a table. When they return to the ring, they fetch a second table. This one won’t cooperate. Rocco bounces off it! Sags even lands a chain-assisted flying elbow. It still doesn’t break. (I AM THE TABLE!!) They give up on that and hang Grunge over the ropes with the chain. The Nasties use the chain as a clothesline to take out Rocco for the win.

Thoughts: This was a wild mess, but it was fun. The crazy commentary helped. It also had some unique weapons and spots. That stubborn table even added to the bout. They kept it the right length, so it didn’t overstay its welcome. This is the kind of match you want from these two teams. I enjoyed it.

Winners: The Nasty Boys (11:25)

Public Enemy attacks The Nasty Boys after the bell. Knobbs grabs a chair, but Grunge hits him with the chain. Rocco finally breaks the table by slamming Sags onto it. He follows with an elbow. Then, they leave.

Gene is backstage with security guards. They’re near The Outsiders’ locker room. Gene threatens to go to a lawyer if The Outsiders touch him. Gene says everyone is fair-game. He wanted to get a word with Hall or Nash, but they don’t want to talk. Gene also speculates about the third man. He says you can cut the electricity with a knife. (That’s a bad idea.)

Cruiserweight Title Match: Dean Malenko (c) vs. Disco Inferno

Notes: Disco Inferno interrupted a Dean Malenko match. He said it was boring, so he wanted to show off his gold record instead. Disco then danced until Dean attacked him. This was enough for Malenko to demand a match. (Doesn’t the challenger usually do that?) Disco had a warm-up bout with Kurasawa. He defeated him by smashing a disco ball on his head. Meanwhile, Disco cuts a promo before the bell. He calls Dean Mr. Personality. He also invites everyone to his disco dance party after he wins. Dean yells at Disco and slaps him.

The Match: Malenko whips Disco into the rail and around the ring. He nails him with clotheslines and a leg lariat. He also hits a brainbuster before putting Disco in various submissions. Dean focuses on his knee until Disco fires back with punches and a hotshot. It’s not enough. Dean continues his onslaught with more strikes and holds. Disco rallies again with punches and elbows. He even blocks an axehandle and gives Dean a neckbreaker. Disco fights his urge to fix his hair, but he only gets a two-count. He then follows with a backdrop and another neckbreaker. But, he pauses to dance before realizing his mistake. Disco then gets a few pin attempts. But, Dean blocks them and does an underhook powerbomb. He finally locks Disco in the Texas Cloverleaf for the win.

Thoughts: Disco surprised me. This was a solid match. I liked the story they told. I wouldn’t even say Dean carried him to a good match. Disco held his end of the bargain just fine. They had him put up enough of a fight to earn a bit of respect. It was a good mix of technical wrestling and storytelling.

Winner: Dean Malenko (12:04)

Steve Mongo McMichael (w/ Debra) vs. Joe Gomez

Notes: Joe Gomez wants a bit of revenge. The Horsemen attacked him and The Renegade backstage. Gomez tried stopping a Horsemen beat down on Nitro. Mongo hit him with his briefcase and challenged him to a match. (I should be glad it’s Gomez and not The Renegade. The thought of a Renegade/Mongo match horrifies me.) On a side note, Debra got a new dog with this heel turn. It’s a poodle named Ditka. (Pepe didn’t want to turn heel with his family. Good dog.) Also, we get the return of the Crab Cam during Mongo’s entrance.

The Match: Mongo uses chops and shoulder blocks. He also gets in a three-point stance and nails running clotheslines. Gomez counters with his own chops and a crossbody. He even rams Mongo into the corner. But, Steve kicks him low. Mongo follows with a punt to the ribs and focuses on Joe’s midsection. He puts him in a Camel Clutch, but I doubt it made him humble. Then, Gomez breaks free and counters a few of Mongo’s moves. Joe gets some pin attempts and backdrops. Gomez also throws more chops and dropkicks. However, they botch a sunset flip spot. Mongo realizes it’s time to end this. He finishes the match with a Tombstone piledriver.

Thoughts: This was basic and messy. It wasn’t a good match. Why didn’t they put Mongo in there with someone who could carry him? Also, who decided to give Mongo a Tombstone as a finisher? Don’t give a dangerous move to a green wrestler! Mongo has charisma, but he needs a lot of work in the ring.

Winner: Steve McMichael (6:44)

Gene is with Ric Flair, Miss Elizabeth, and Woman. The latter is touching Gene again. He’s distracted. Ric is anxious to start his promo, so he cuts off Gene. He predicts victory for all the Horsemen. Tomorrow on Nitro, Flair will have both the U.S. & WCW titles. Ric then sings “La Cucaracha” while talking about styling and profiling. Flair also thinks Konnan is a man of a thousand holds. (No, that’s Malenko.) Gene wants to speak with the ladies. He asks Liz about the party she’s throwing with Randy’s money. Woman offers a private party to Gene. Gene replies, “P-p-p-private party?” (Is he Roger Rabbit?) Flair then mocks Savage again, so Gene claims Ric said it all. Ric replies, “Not only said it all, did it all. Woo!” Flair then tells Konnan to grab his best hold. (He still thinks it’s Malenko.) Then, Gene decides not to go to the party. He doesn’t care for the company Woman keeps. Neither Woman nor Flair believes that. Woman touches Gene again, so he ends the segment with a joke. Gene says they’re going to have a pole-vaulting competition. (Gene, you dirty dog.)

U.S. Title Match: Ric Flair (w/ Woman & Miss Elizabeth) vs. Konnan (c)

Notes: They placed Flair in the U.S. Title scene to give him something to do. It’s a bit of a demotion for Ric, but it should lead to some good matches. The last time Flair held the U.S. Title was 1981. There isn’t much of a build for this match. The ladies attacked Konnan with their shoes. (Oh, this again?) He has a bandage on his head from it. During the entrances, Flair has the ladies turn for the camera. He also stops to watch himself on the big screens. (Ric is at least having some fun with this demotion.)

The Match: Flair toys with Konnan before they trade holds, pin attempts, and even slaps. Ric also uses cheap shots and chops. Konnan counters with press slams, clotheslines, and a type of surfboard stretch. Then, they fight on the apron. Konnan nails a diving clothesline and knocks over Liz. He then climbs to the top, but Woman somehow crotches Konnan by shaking the bottom rope. Flair uses the women as a distraction. He hits Konnan with low-blows and throws him over the ropes. Konnan then blocks a Figure Four and puts Ric in his own hold! Ric has to reach the ropes twice because Nick Patrick kicks his hands the first time. (What’s wrong with him?) Next, Konnan slams Ric off the top rope and nails a rolling clothesline. However, Woman climbs on the apron. After waiting for a long time, she nails Konnan with her shoe. Flair then pins him with his feet on the ropes to get the victory.

Thoughts: The finish was a little shaky, but it was still a strong match. I expected no less from these two. It was the best Konnan match I’ve covered so far. That’s not just because of Flair. Konnan pulled his weight too. I enjoyed this. It may be a demotion for Ric, but he will make the best of it.

Winner: Ric Flair (New Champion) (15:39)

Gene eavesdrops on The Outsiders. He stands beside the door and says he hears voices inside. A third man joined them. The voices are muffled, but Gene finds one of them familiar. It stirs something in his subconscious. (I can hear Gene thinking, “He sure says brother a lot. Who could it be?”) Gene asks Tony if he knows anything. Tony doesn’t, but Schiavone asks Gene to make a guess. Gene can’t figure it out. Then, Heenan tells Gene to bribe the cops for information. Gene almost does it until he realizes that’s a terrible idea. Tony also asks for an update on Bischoff, but Gene doesn’t know anything. Once again, Heenan tries to get Gene to bribe the cops. Gene tells him to knock it off.

The Giant & The Taskmaster (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Arn Anderson & Chris Benoit

Notes: Now that the Horsemen and the Dungeon are at war, Sullivan has been on a rampage. He beat up a jobber and tried to take him into the women’s restroom. (Is this Sullivan’s gimmick now?) Security stopped him, so Kevin left the guy in the hallway. Then, WCW booked this match. If the Horsemen win, one of their members gets a WCW title match on Nitro. They imply the shot will go to Flair. The Dungeon jump Arn & Chris during their entrance. But, Mongo hits The Giant with a briefcase. The Giant chases him to the back, so The Horsemen double-team Sullivan.

The Match: Benoit and Sullivan trade chops while The Giant returns. The Horsemen control Kevin in their corner and make frequent tags. Sullivan fights back with punches and biting. It’s not enough. They throw Kevin to the floor and ram him into the rail. Sullivan even tries a double noggin knocker, but he still can’t tag. Then, Arn attempts a DDT. The Giant clotheslines Anderson. The Giant also catches Benoit on a dive and slams him. However, Kevin still can’t tag. They put Sullivan in more holds until Kevin raises his knees into Arn’s crotch. Taskmaster then awkwardly catapults Arn into Benoit. This allows Kevin to tag The Giant. While The Giant enters the ring, Benoit and Sullivan brawl to the beach set. This leaves Anderson alone with The Giant. He gives Arn a suplex and a chokeslam for the win. Benoit is too busy with Sullivan to stop it.

Thoughts: This match was okay. I get the story they told, but Sullivan’s lack of selling hurt the bout. He took the moves and almost didn’t register them. It felt like he was trying to get from spot to spot without much of a care. Plus, it’s odd to have the title match stipulation if it wasn’t going to happen. It feels wasted.

Winners: The Giant & The Taskmaster (7:59)

The Giant leaves, but Benoit and Sullivan continue fighting. Benoit dives off the commentators’ platform. He returns Kevin to the ring and Chris gives him a back superplex. Benoit keeps stomping Sullivan until Woman arrives. She begs him to stop because he’s going to hurt him. The Giant realizes he left Sullivan behind, so he returns to the ring. He chases The Horseman away and carries Sullivan to the back. (This was weird. Woman and Sullivan are married in real life, but the fans didn’t know that. They’re blurring the lines. How many people would have gotten that at the time? Also, I want to point out something odd. The camera catches Arn checking on Sullivan. The commentators try covering for it. I don’t think we were supposed to see that.)

Next, they show a recap of The Outsiders storyline. It’s an extended version of the opening package. It uses the same generic rock music. There still isn’t any narration. But, they added fake newspaper headlines. They say things like, “Sting confronts the Outsiders!” We see clips of their various interruptions and antics. (This was disappointing for such a big angle.)

Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, & ???? vs. Sting, Randy Savage, & Lex Luger

Notes: Michael Buffer introduces the match. He says The Outsiders have threatened the sanctity of WCW. Hall & Nash come out first to the same generic rock from the video. But, they don’t have their third man. The commentators are pissed. Gene confronts them. Hall says the third man is there. Nash confirms it. However, The Outsiders say they have enough to handle WCW’s three men. This offends Tony. He can’t believe his ears. WCW’s team enters next and they get all the fireworks! The match begins without the third man. The commentators speculate about who it could be. Heenan implies it might be Dusty. Rhodes takes exception to that.

The Match: Hall and Luger trade slaps and forearms. Then, Nash traps Luger in the corner. Sting nails a Stinger Splash, but Lex is crushed in the process. Luger falls to the floor unconscious. They wheel him away on a stretcher. When the action continues, Sting & Savage rally. They attack Hall with atomic drops and axehandles. But, Nash nails Randy with a snake eyes. Sting ends up in trouble. Nash blocks Sting’s sunset flip and comeback attempts. He hits Sting with knees, elbows, and forearms. The Outsiders also take turns putting Sting in an abdominal stretch with leverage. They even use ref distractions to take cheap shots. Savage tries using a chair, but the ref stops him. Nash then continues the attack with a sidewalk slam. But, Sting fires back with punches and dives for a tag. Savage cleans house until Nash cuts him off with a low blow. Everything looks bleak, but then…

Hulk Hogan arrives! (Heenan almost ruins it by saying, “But, whose side is he on!?”) The Outsiders bail when Hogan enters the ring. However, Hulk pushes the ref aside and…

He leg drops Savage! The crowd loses its mind as Hogan gives a thumbs-up to The Outsiders. He gives Randy two more leg drops and throws the ref out of the ring. Hall then makes a mock three-count. The commentators refuse to acknowledge it.

Thoughts: The match wasn’t bad. The action was decent, but it was more about the storyline than anything. It had great storytelling. Plus, the commentary helped. I liked how none of the commentators tried to be impartial. Tony actively called for them to hurt their opponents. It wasn’t a five-star match and it didn’t need to be. It accomplished exactly what it needed to do. I’m even okay with the non-finish.

Winners: No Contest (16:55)

Hogan high-fives The Outsiders and raises their arms. The fans pelt the ring with trash while the three men celebrate. Sting pulls Savage out of the ring and helps him to the back. Tony asks if this was pre-meditated all the way back to 1994. Gene then enters the ring to confront Hulk Hogan.

Gene asks what the hell Hogan is thinking. Hulk says he needs to tell the people to shut up if they want to hear his answer. Hogan calls The Outsiders the future. He says this is the New World Order of wrestling. These men came from that company up north. Who knows that place better than Hogan? Hulk says he made that promotion and its owner rich. But, then he became bigger than the whole organization. Then, Billionaire Ted promised him movies, money, and world-caliber matches. Hogan says he’s bored with it all. He wants The Outsiders as his friends because they’re the new blood. He promises they will rule the wrestling business. They will destroy everything in their path. Gene then points out all the crap in the ring. Hogan says it represents the fans. He spent two years doing everything for charities and kids. Hogan tells the fans to stick it. They wouldn’t be there without him. He also says Bischoff and the johnny-come-lately wrestlers wouldn’t be there without him. Hogan then forgets the name of their new group. He calls it the New World Organization. (Give him time. He will get it right from now on.) Hogan asks Gene what he’s going to do. He even grabs him. Gene says, “Don’t touch me! I’ve got a fleet of lawyers!” (This was great stuff. I love the image of fans throwing trash. I know it’s dangerous, but it makes for a great visual. Hogan was reluctant to turn heel. They had to talk him into it. If he didn’t go along, the backup plan was for Sting to turn. They also batted around the idea of Luger. That would have been terrible.)

The fans keep throwing trash while the commentators commiserate about what happened. Tony says it’s the end of Hulkamania. He also tells Hogan to go straight to hell.

The Good:

  • The formation of the nWo and Hogan’s promo.
  • Rey/Psychosis was great.
  • The Cruiserweight Title match was solid.
  • The Dog Collar Match was fun.
  • Flair/Konnan was good.
  • Dusty’s commentary.
  • Tony Schiavone also had a great commentary night.

The Bad:

  • Mongo/Gomez was a mess.
  • The Horsemen/Dungeon tag match was disappointing.

Performer of the Night:

I can’t believe I’m doing this. I’m giving it to Hulk Hogan. His heel turn rejuvenated both WCW and wrestling. Plus, that was a great promo.

Final Thoughts:

Much like King of the Ring, this show is remembered more for the storyline than the action. In the same way, it’s also still a strong show underneath. Most of the action was good to great. There were a lot of fun and entertaining things. Only a couple of the bouts disappointed me. WCW is more than making up for the rough first half of ’96. The last two PPVs are a great example of the variety WCW offered.

Thank you for reading. My next review is the WWF’s In Your House: International Incident. Look for my review next Sunday!

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