Sunday, August 3, 2014

Random Network Reviews: Bash at the Beach 1998

Bash at the Beach 1998
7/12/98 – Cox Arena in San Diego, California – Attendance: 10,095

So, 1998 WCW. If I'm correct, and I could be wrong, Bash at the Beach 1998 would be the first Pay-Per-View of the Goldberg as WCW Champion era. Looking at the card, I see there is potential. Booker T takes on Bret Hart for the WCW Television Title which could be good, a Cruiserweight Title match between Chris Jericho and Rey Mysterio Jr, as well as Goldberg stepping into the ring with a legend like Curt Hennig. The biggest story going into this match though was the tag team main event where Hulk Hogan would team with Dennis Rodman against DDP and Karl Malone, just a month or so after Rodman's Chicago Bulls defeated Malone's Utah Jazz in the NBA Finals for the second straight year. This also produced the highest buy rate for WCW of the year, even outselling Starrcade. It did a 1.50 buy rate, but the WWF's WrestleMania 14 had produced a 2.30 buy rate or something like that so it shows you where these two companies stood. Enough of that though, let's start this show. 

You know, for having more money than the WWF at the time, WCW had a terrible production company for their videos. They are nearly always terrible. MEAN BAH GAWD GENE opens the show by talking about the WCW Hotline. 1-900-909-9900! 

Raven's Rules Match
Raven w/ Riggs & Lodi vs. Saturn

Saturn attacks Raven as he makes his entrance. He tosses Raven around into the guardrails before choking him with a shirt. They go inside and Saturn goes to the top but either slips off or just steps off and kicks Raven. Awkward stuff. Lodi is dressed like ECW's famous “hat guy”. Saturn goes back up top but misses now. Because it's Raven's Rules, he sets up a table with assistance from Riggs. Raven's plans get foiled though as he is crotched on the top, though Saturn fails to capitalize. Raven gets a near fall inside with his feet on the ropes. Raven applies a freaking sleeper hold in a Raven's Rules match. Seriously? Saturn hits back to back suplex variations before going outside for a chair, which Tony Schiavone calls a table. Saturn places the chair on Raven's face and hits a springboard leg drop on it for two. Lodi and Riggs try to intervene but Saturn takes them out. He runs at Raven who pulls Nick Patrick in the way. Patrick gets kicked directly in the face, but sells it terribly. I never saw the point of referee bumps during no disqualification matches. Saturn puts Raven on a table, and then stacks a table on top of that one. Kanyon shows up and pulls Raven out. Saturn can see this clear as day but still jumps off and elbows nobody through the table. Kanyon raises Raven's hand in the ring, only to hit him with the Flatliner on an open chair. Riggs rolls Saturn in the ring and Raven gets his arm across him but Saturn gets his shoulder up. Saturn kicks a chair into Raven's face but Riggs breaks up the count. He gets hit with a DVD for his trouble, allowing Raven to hit the Evenflow and win.

Winner: Raven in 10:41
A Raven's Rules match with like, two weapons isn't a good start, but the random and pointless Kanyon appearance coupled with the awkward moments in the match hurt this. *1/2

More from MEAN “BAH GAWD” GENE, as he brings out Eddie Guerrero and the badass LWO theme. He cuts a promo about his nephew as he'll be facing Chavo in a hair vs. hair match later, but first, Chavo has to face Stevie Ray for some reason.

Juventud Guerrera vs. Kidman w/ Lodi
Before he was Billy, he was just Kidman and a member of the Flock. Tony Schiavone points out that the referee is Mark “Shooter” Curtis. So this ref stole Dean Malenko's ECW gimmick. Fun and fast paced sequence after the bell that The Juice gets the best of. After taking Kidman over and out, Juvi goes for a dive but gets tripped up by Lodi. Lodi beats up Juvi in front of the referee who doesn't call for the DQ. Schiavone literally just says “I guess this is Raven's Rules too.” The disconnect is apparent. Juvi does a nice dive on both members of the Flock though. As they spill outside, Kidman hits an alley-oop onto the guardrail. According to Mike Tenay, this stemmed from Kidman saying the Seven Year Itch (Shooting Star Press) is better than the 450 that Juvi does. Schiavone calls a powerbomb onto the outside a sidewalk slam. I can't make this up. Juvi goes for a top rope hurricanrana but Kidman low blows him, again no disqualification, and hits the Sky High off the top. YOU BETTER RECOGNIZE! Both men end up at the top again and Kidman gets crotched on the top rope, allowing Juvi to his a springboard hurricanrana for two. Juvi earns points with me by using one of my favorite moves, the Northern lights suplex for two. Juvi barely lands on his feet from a German and hits the Juvi Driver for a near fall. Kidman ends up missing the Seven Year Itch and Juvi doesn't miss the 450, which finishes it.

Winner: Juventud Guerrera in 9:55
Despite the issues with the rules and the lack of disqualifications being called, these two did a fine job. I enjoyed this. ***

Chavo Guerrero Jr. vs. Stevie Ray
As he walks to the ring, Stevie Ray promises to SLAPJACK someone tonight. Chavo has a water gun and a floaty. It's still better than Kerwin White. Eddie comes out with scissors and Chavo grabs a microphone. He dedicates the match to his uncle. He eludes Stevie and flexes to a pop. Chavo then starts to dance and this is weird. He asks for a handshake and when Stevie accepts, he submits.

Winner: Stevie Ray in 1:36
Pointless. I understand that Chavo gave up on purpose to not waste energy on this match, but then why book this in the first place? DUD

Hair vs. Hair
Chavo Guerrero Jr. vs. Eddie Guerrero

Chavo bites his uncle on his rear end as his “wacky” gimmick continues. Eddie rolls outside and we get a lot of stalling for some odd reason. Chavo even gets a chair while he waits. Once things finally get going, Chavo hits a back body drop as Eddie crawls on his knees to the referee. Chavo follows in exactly the same manner and bites Eddie's butt again. Eddie targets the ribs and hits a big suplex. Eddie puts Chavo in the Gory Special, which Chavo should know a counter to, since it's like, family tradition. Chavo gets some offense with a monkey flip before chopping away in the corner. Things go outside and Eddie removes the mat, to expose the concrete. Love this spot. Chavo reverses a suplex and it backfires on Eddie. Inside, Eddie hits a superplex. There's a lot of suplexes in here. He charges at Chavo but eats turnbuckle. Chavo goes for a Frog Splash but Eddie gets his knees up. Eddie uses Chavo's tornado DDT but doesn't go for the cover. He instead goes for the scissors but the ref strips him. Eddie misses a Frog Splash. Chavo gets the scissors now, and Eddie uses a small package to best him.

Winner: Eddie Guerrero in 11:54
For two guys who should have obvious chemistry, this wasn't very good. There was far too much stalling at the beginning and the ending didn't make much sense. **

Chavo laughs and shaves his own head after the contest. This causes Eddie to be a bit freaked out as he leaves. 

Disco Inferno w/ Alex Wright vs. Konnan w/ Lex Luger & Kevin Nash
I won't lie, it's pretty great that Disco Inferno hails from FunkyTown. Tony Schiavone says that this is an unadvertised match and I can see why. I might not buy a PPV featuring this. Disco and Alex Wright say that they are also “bowdy bowdy and rowdy rowdy.” Konnan steals their thing and says that he's also “bowdy bowdy and rowdy rowdy.” Konnan hits a hip toss and a sloppy looking arm drag. Disco blocks a sunset flip and decides to dance. Konnan connects with the X-Factor followed by a rolling clothesline. Disco ends up sending Konnan outside, where Wright pounds on him while Luger and Nash do nothing. Then, after Konnan is done getting beat up, Luger puts Wright in the Torture Rack. Nash enters and hits the Jacknife on Disco allowing Konnan to lock in the Tequila Sunrise and Disco quits.

Winner: Konnan in 2:16
Another thing that didn't need to be on the Pay-Per-View. The Wolfpack had to use their three on two advantage to beat Disco Inferno. The crowd was hot at least. *

The Giant vs. Kevin Greene
The Giant is billed as 7 foot 4 and weighing 519 pounds. Wow. Kevin Greene enters and looks like he's on coke or something. A lot of early stalling before Greene gets Giant crotched on the top rope and shakes the ropes, though he botches that. He attempts some punches in the corner but ends up getting a spinebuster. Giant continues to bore with some big man offense as the crowd chants “Goldberg.” It was supposed to be The Giant & Curt Hennig against Greene and Goldberg but that was changed when Goldberg won the title. Giant continues to chop away until Green hits a jawbreaker of sorts. Headbutt from the Giant stops his momentum though. Green does get in some offense as he throws Giant into the guardrail a few times. Greene goes to the top and hits a flying clothesline but Giant powers out at two. He decides to taunt which allows Giant to hit the Chokeslam and end this.

Winner: The Giant in 6:58
Kevin Greene tried his best but he's not a wrestler and The Giant wasn't good enough to carry him. Boring stuff. *1/4

Curt Hennig is asked why he thinks he will be the one to beat Goldberg. He makes very valid points about his experience and Goldberg not being able to wrestle long. A video recap is shown of Chris Jericho baiting Dean Malenko into attacking him and getting suspended, changing the match for tonight.

WCW Cruiserweight Championship No Disqualification
Chris Jericho (c) vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.

The WWE Network giving Jericho his WWF debut theme is not bad. Jericho is wearing a top hat for some reason. Ah, it seems that since he won't have a match Jericho is going to do some soft shoe for the fans. JJ Dillon shows up and decides that Jericho should wrestle someone. He teases it as a guy who hasn't wrestled in six months and he thinks it's a jobber. It's Rey Mysterio and the crowd pops. Rey uses fast offense to take control and hits a springboard leg drop for two. They say Rey added about 15 pounds of muscle but he's still way smaller than he was during his WWE run. They botch a hurricanrana spot on the outside. Jericho wisely goes to Mysterio's injured knee. They fight up to the lifeguard stand in the entrance and Schiavone tries to sell falling in sand as bothersome. Rey leaps off the lifeguard post with a hurricanrana. He tosses sand in Jericho's eyes and they're back in the ring quickly. They go to the top and Jericho hits a powerslam off the top before grabbing a chair. He crushes Rey's knee with it but misses his next move with it. Rey now uses the chair and targets Jericho's leg with it. Rey goes for a springboard but Jericho catches him in a sloppy and weak powerbomb. He tries the Liontamer but Rey gets to the ropes as Dean Malenko walks down. Jericho is distracted but goes for the Liontamer again, only to have Rey counter into a pin for the three.

Winner and New Cruiserweight Champion: Rey Mysterio Jr. in 6:01
Maybe it's because Rey just came back from injury but this was kept short and they botched two big spots. Other than that, it was decent, but disappointing. **

WCW World Television Championship
Booker T (c) vs. Bret Hart

Two WWE Hall of Famers squaring off for a WCW mid-card title. Interesting. Man, WCW mishandled Bret Hart's entire run. We get a tie up and Booker hits a quick arm drag. He must have watched some Ricky Steamboat before this match. We get a series of hip toss reversals that ends with Booker hip tossing Bret over and out. Booker goes out and high fives fans, allowing Bret to send him into the guardrail. Bret continues to control inside until Booker hits a spinebuster that gets called a sidewalk slam. Seriously WCW commentary? Can you get something right? Back outside, Bret slams Booker's back into the ring post. Going to the second rope, Bret hits his excellently executed elbow for a near fall. My goodness, everything Bret does looked great. A regular move like a Russian leg sweep looks vicious. Booker gets a very sloppy roll up attempt in the corner that Heenan covers up by saying it's due to Bret focusing on Booker's back. Booker hits a big kick and manages to hit the Scissors Kick but can't cover instantly. He hits a missile dropkick but Bret gets his foot on the bottom rope because he's a ring general dammit. Bret rolls outside and gets a steel chair as he decides to get himself disqualified.

Winner via disqualification and Still Television Champion: Booker T in 8:58
Two good performers kind of mailed it in here. Bret's offense looked great but Booker kind of no sold things at the end. The disqualification finish was stupid too. **1/4

Bret continues the assault and puts on the figure four in the corner as Stevie Ray walks down. Literally walks. Bret exits as Stevie Ray poorly helps Booker to the back.

WCW World Heavyweight Championship
Goldberg (c) vs. Curt Hennig

I love Curt Hennig but he wasn't booked well in WCW at this time and was not a viable threat to the belt. Goldberg should've faced The Giant if anything so he can look like a dominant champion. Beating Hennig won't do anything for him. Also, if you wanted to put Goldberg over even more, he should've won the WCW World Title on a Pay-Per-View. If this show drew a 1.50, imagine what Hogan/Goldberg could've done. At the bell, they square off and Goldberg gets a headlock and runs over Hennig. Chops form Hennig do nothing and Goldberg does a scissors roll that looks terrible. Hennig gets hits with a sloppy slam from Goldberg. Hennig gets in his first real offense by dropping his knee across Goldberg's leg. They mention that Goldberg is 111-0. I feel like he's wrestled ALOT of matches in the like, year that he's been in WCW. Perfectplex gets hit but Goldberg kicks out which broke my heart a little. Well, it's the Hennigplex here so I understand a bit. Goldberg instantly gets up, hits a clothesline, the Spear and the Jackhammer and he's 112-0.

Winner and Still WCW World Heavyweight Champion: Goldberg in 3:50
Well, that accomplished nothing. Goldberg beat a mid-carder in his usual three minute squash. *

We get another weak video package of the build up for the main event though it not featuring any NBA clips is poop.

Diamond Dallas Page & Karl Malone vs. “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan & Dennis Rodman w/ The Disciple
Hogan's like “yea I lost the belt, but I'm still in the main event.” Michael Buffer announces that DDP and Malone don't affiliate themselves with any organizations. So WCW and the Utah Jazz don't count? Rodman and Malone start as the crowd is excited. Reports say that Malone trained hard for this and Rodman didn't, which makes sense. Also, I read that Hogan wanted this to go like 40 minutes. Thank god that wasn't the case. Rodman gets tossed outside by Malone after stalling, so he tags Hogan. They have a flexing contest and Hogan gets upset so he calls for a test of strength. Malone applies some sort of odd rest hold and then slams Hogan. DDP and Rodman gets tagged in ans they lock up as DDP shoves him to the mat. “Boring” chants echo throughout the arena and rightfully so. Rodman spits at DDP so DDP returns the favor. DDP makes Rodman's armdrag look decent. Rodman does two impressive leap frogs before totally screwing up a shoulder block. Malone and Hogan get tagged in. Hogan gets overpowered and claims Malone pulled his hair, allowing Rodman to get in a cheap shot. Hogan does a scoop slam and drops some elbows on Malone. Rodman and Hogan do some tags and double team offense until DDP gets the hot tag and cleans house. His burst doesn't last long because Hogan brings out the WEIGHT BELT OF DOOM! Now DDP plays the face in peril role as he takes a beating. My god, this match seems like it's an Iron Man match. Malone gets the hot tag and pounds Hogan's head into the turnbuckle. DDP gets the tag again and hits Hogan with the Diamond Cutter. Rodman enters and gets a Diamond Cutter from Malone. The Disciple come sin and this a Stunner on DDP, allowing Hogan to get the pin.

Winners: Dennis Rodman & Hulk Hogan in 23:47
Did Hogan and Rodman NEED to go over here? Malone lost to Rodman in the NBA Finals twice, couldn't the good guy at least get the scripted wrestling win? This was terrible and tedious. DUD

Overall: 2.5/10; Bad. Another WCW show where nearly every match is bad. The main event is abysmal and the World Title match is poor. The Cruiserweight Title match and the Hair vs. Hair match both disappoint while the only match that is worth a look is Kidman vs. Juventud. WCW continues to be the worst shows I review. Next for “Random Network Reviews” will beSurvivor Series 1996!