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Bash at the Beach 1998

Bash at the Beach 1998Date: July 12, 1998
Location: Cox Arena, San Diego, California
Attendance: 10,095
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan 

Reviewed by Tommy Hall 

Tonight is all about the celebrities as the main event is DDP/Karl Malone vs. Hollywood Hogan/Dennis Rodman. We've also got football player Kevin Greene vs. the Giant in what was supposed to be a tag match. Their original partners are in a world title match as new champion Goldberg defends against Curt Hennig. The midcard matches should be solid, meaning this has potential to be something good. Let's get to it.

The opening video focuses on the three major matches tonight with some shots of the beach cut in as well.

The set is the usual intricate beach setting with sand, lifeguard towers and beach balls. The announcers wearing hula shirts is a nice touch as well.

We get an intro from the announcers, bragging about all the media attention the show has been getting. Nothing wrong with that.

Gene, in a white tuxedo, hypes up the hotline.

Raven vs. Saturn

Under Raven's Rules of course. Saturn is in trunks now instead of jeans. Raven of course has Riggs and Lodi with him, the latter being dressed like Hat Guy. Saturn meets him in the aisle to start and whips Raven into the barricade very hard. He chokes Raven with the shirt and takes it inside for the first time. Saturn slips on the top for a bit but comes back with a quick missile dropkick to put Raven down. An ankle lock is quickly broken by Raven grabbing the ropes, even though there are no rules so there's nothing the referee can threaten Saturn with.

Raven avoids a legdrop and hits a quick knee lift to put Saturn down for a breather. It's already table time (Tony: “He's got a chair.”) but Raven gets crotched while trying to suplex Saturn over the top and through the table. They head to the floor with Raven hitting the Russian legsweep into the barricade for two, even with Raven's feet on the ropes. Raven's sleeper is countered by a jawbreaker and both guys are down again. Saturn is up first for some kicks in the corner and a suplex to take over.

Now it's chair time (complete with jokes from Heenan at Tony's expense) with Saturn hitting a spinning springboard legdrop onto Raven onto the chair for two. Saturn takes out Riggs and Lodi but crushes Nick Patrick in the corner with a springboard leg lariat in the corner. Out to the floor again with Raven being bulldogged into the steps.

Saturn sets up another table next on top of the original with Raven in between but here's Kanyon to turn on Saturn, pulling Raven out from between the tables. We hit the shades of gray as Kanyon takes Raven inside and gives him the Flatliner onto the chair. Riggs rolls in Saturn and puts Raven on top for two. Saturn comes back with a Death Valley Driver to Riggs but the Even Flow is enough for the pin for Raven.

Rating: C. The match was fun but as usual, they're not actually going anywhere with all this stuff. So many of the feuds just go in circles and that doesn't help anyone at all in the end. Kanyon and Saturn need to do something soon to capitalize on all these awesome moments they've had but it seems like they're going to be doing the same stuff they've been doing for months.

Here's Eddie to talk about Chavo's match with Stevie Ray before his hair vs. hair match with Eddie. This is the first mention of Stevie being involved in the PPV, which might be a good idea. Eddie says Stevie is going to destroy Chavo and Eddie will pick up the pieces.

Juventud Guerrera vs. Kidman

Wasn't this supposed to be Juvy vs. Reese II? Kidman looks much cleaner than usual. They lock up to start with Kidman taking over with a headlock. Both guys hit the ropes a few times and they flip to a stalemate. Kidman gets chopped against the ropes and takes down by a headscissors. Lodi pulls Juvy to the floor for a quick beating but Kidman takes out his Flock mate on a dive. Guerrera slides back in and hits a HUGE dive to take both guys down.

Back in and Kidman slams him down before taking it right back to the floor. Juvy is dropped throat first across the barricade but Kidman misses a charge off the apron to send himself crashing into the barricade as well. They head to the apron with Juvy hitting a sunset bomb to slam Kidman onto the floor again. The fans of course get on Lodi instead of paying attention to the match.

Juvy throws him inside again and stomps Kidman in the corner a bit before loading up a top rope hurricanrana. Kidman counters with a low blow and a top rope sitout spinebuster for a big crash and two. Back up and Kidman chops away but gets rolled up for two. They head to the corner again and Kidman gets crotched on the top rope, allowing Juvy to hit a springboard hurricanrana for a close two. Kidman's middle rope bulldog gets the same and they trade rollups for two. The Juvy Driver gets two but Kidman slams him down to set up the Seven Year Itch. Juvy rolls away at the last second though and it's the 450 for the pin.

Rating: B-. Good match here as you would expect from these guys. It's nowhere near their best but it's better than Reese vs. Juvy would have been. This would have been a good choice for the opener as the fans got into it, even though a lot of their heat was directed at Lodi. Fun stuff.

Konnan is on, talking about his family eating fish tacos.

Stevie Ray vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr.

This is a result of a one off conversation between these two on Nitro. Chavo has a Super Soaker and an inflatable duck around his waist. Eddie comes out to watch so Chavo dedicates the match to him. Chavo avoids contact for awhile before offering a handshake. Stevie shakes his hand.....and Chavo submits. For some reason, Stevie is mad even though he won.

Time for the hair vs. hair match and Eddie is livid.

Eddie Guerrero vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr.

Loser gets a haircut. They lock up to start and Eddie leapfrogs him, only to be bitten on the tights, sending him out to the floor. Back in and Eddie asks the referee to look at the injury but Charles Robinson is just fine thank you. Now Chavo wants to dance a bit. A frustrated Eddie kicks the turnbuckle and injures his foot, sending him out to the floor. Eddie throws in a chair but Chavo sits down in it and asks Eddie to come in. Things settle down a bit and Eddie gets on his knees to ask for a handshake. Chavo takes his hand and pulls Eddie into a clothesline as we actually get going.

Eddie hides in the corner at the referee's knees but gets bitten again as the comedy continues. Eddie finally dropkicks the knee out and sends Chavo into the corner to take over. Some shoulders to Chavo's back in the corner have him in even more trouble and a gutbuster puts him down again. A low dropkick sets up a slingshot hilo to stay on Chavo's back and the nephew is in trouble. There's the Gory Special in the middle of the ring but Chavo gets his legs free, only to be clotheslined right back down.

We hit a camel clutch on Chavo for a bit before Eddie fires off some chops against the ropes. Chavo avoids a dropkick and scores with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker to put Eddie down. Eddie pulls the trunks to send Chavo to the floor and pulls back the mats. The brainbuster is countered though and Chavo suplexes him down onto the exposed concrete. Back in and Chavo goes up again but gets crotched down, setting up an Eddie superplex to put both guys down.

Back up and Chavo launches Eddie over his head and face first into the turnbuckle but Chavo's frog splash hits knees. Eddie's tornado DDT (Chavo's finisher) puts Chavo down and Eddie goes for the scissors. That's not cool with Little Naitch so Eddie tries the frog splash to a similar result. Now Chavo goes for the scissors but the referee takes them away, allowing Eddie to get a rollup for the pin.

Rating: B-. To no surprise, this was a good match. Chavo has grown up a lot in this feud and the matches are getting better and better every time. I'm digging Chavo being crazy yet brilliant with stuff like the handshake submission earlier. He's gone from nothing to an interesting character which was the idea all along.

Post match Chavo grabs the electric clippers and shaves his own hair off. He offers to cut Eddie's as well so they can be twins. Chavo: “You don't want to cut my hair? What a psycho!” Chavo cuts his own hair and shaves the whole thing off.

We get an odd few moments during the haircut as Tony talks like the main event is up next before going into a full recap of Jericho vs. Malenko. Instead of either of those, we get this.

Disco Inferno vs. Konnan

This is a bonus match and Disco is officially from FUNKYTOWN. Before the match, Alex and Disco imitate Konnan in an unfunny bit. Nash and Luger come out with Konnan which is some serious overkill. They're just a comedy tag team guys. Nash and Konnan do their full entrances and talking bits as we're clearly filling time now.

Konnan takes him down with ease and stomps on Disco's back. An X-Factor and the rolling lariat put Inferno down again but Wright pulls him to the floor for an attack. Luger Racks Alex, allowing Nash to Jackknife Disco. Konnan puts on the Tequila Sunrise for the easy submission. That's three people interfering in a two minute match with no backstory for those of you keeping track. This is why we needed another NWO group?

Kevin Greene vs. The Giant

Greene is very fired up here. He rolls away from Giant to start and sneaks in a slap to the face. Giant growls at him so Kevin bails to the floor. Greene kicks the ropes to crotch Giant as they come back in before pounding away in the corner. The fans are into this and it helps that Greene could probably get a job on his looks and charisma alone. Giant catches him in a bearhug though and spinebusts him down to take over.

A Goldberg chant starts up so Giant pounds Greene in the head out of anger. Back up and Giant chops away as Tony talks about the Georgia Dome show getting 39,919 people. Every source I can find says it was over 40,000, so why would WCW understate it? I've never understood that.

Anyway Greene snaps Giant's throat across the ropes but gets headbutted right back down. They head to the floor with Giant going face first into the barricade a few times before heading back inside. Kevin hits a top rope forearm to drop Giant for two and it's time to go for the knees. That lasts about two seconds before Greene charges into a chokeslam in the corner for the pin.

Rating: C+. That's on a very adjusted scale considering that Greene isn't a wrestler. Factoring that in, this was some very impressive stuff. Greene looked completely comfortable out there and there wasn't a single time there where he looked lost. If he wasn't an incredible football player, he had a career in wrestling for sure. Entertaining stuff here again.

Hennig says Goldberg doesn't have the heart to beat him.

We recap Jericho vs. Malenko with a video from Nitro, showing Malenko getting handcuffed for attacking Jericho after the insults about Dean's dad.

We still don't know who Jericho's opponent is tonight so he comes to the ring with a cane while wearing a top hat as he promised to do. He teases a softshoe but here's JJ to interrupt. Dillon thinks he might have made a mistake about Jericho, but we have an opponent. He hasn't been in the ring in six months, but it'll be a No DQ match like it was supposed to be with Malenko. Jericho: “Bring out the jobber!”

Cruiserweight Title: Chris Jericho vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.

Rey is clearly limping on the way to the ring but has a VERY muscular physique. Rey fires off forearms in the corner and dropkicks Chris into the ropes. Jericho bails to the floor for a breather but comes back in to go after the bad knee. They head up the aisle and fight on the lifeguard's before Rey hurricanranas him down onto the “irritating” (Tony's word) sand.

Back in and Jericho rolls through a high cross body for two before hitting something like a top rope powerslam for no cover. Jericho grabs a chair and goes after the knee but spends too long mocking Rey, allowing Mysterio to get in some shots to Jericho's knee. The West Coast Pop is badly botched to the point it looks like a powerbomb on Rey. He bails to the ropes to avoid the Liontamer but here's the suspended Dean Malenko. The distraction lets Rey snap off a hurricanrana for the pin and the title.

Rating: D+. This didn't work very well. It's not a horrible match but Rey looked very rusty out there. The crowd was happy to see him, but they booked themselves into a corner with Dean. He needs to get his revenge on Jericho and be done with it but this just extends the story out even longer. Hopefully Rey gets better with some more ring time.

Post match Dean chases Jericho to the back and Arn Anderson slows Jericho down, allowing Malenko to get in some shots.

TV Title: Booker T vs. Bret Hart

Booker is defending after being goaded into the match by some Bret chair shots. Bret gets taken to the mat but comes back with right hands to the face to take over. A snapmare gets two for Booker and he sends Bret out to the floor. Bret comes back with a whip into the barricade and we head back inside for the first shots at Booker's braced knee. Booker grabs a quick spinebuster for a floatover two count but Bret backdrops out him out to the floor.

Back in and Bret stays on the knee before getting two off a Russian legsweep. Booker gets stomped down in the corner but comes back with a quick side kick and the flapjack. There's the Spinarooni but Booker doesn't snap to his feet as he usually does. The missile dropkick gets two as Bret gets his foot on the ropes. Bret goes outside and grabs a chair to stop a diving Booker for a DQ.

Rating: D+. Well that happened. Really there isn't much else to say about this match. The match was just there with Bret doing some stuff, Booker coming back, then Bret ending it with the chair. Bret is probably at the top of the list of guys who were wasted in WCW as he went from WWF Champion to losing in a lower card title match inside of eight months. That's impressive even by WCW standards.

Bret goes after the knee with the chair and cracks it over the exposed knee cap. He hooks the Heartbreaker around the post and Stevie Ray takes his sweet time in making the save.

Video on Goldberg's big night on Monday.

WCW World Title: Goldberg vs. Curt Hennig

No Rude for the challenger tonight. Goldberg runs him over to start and hits a kind of release belly to belly, sending Curt into the corner. Goldberg uses his legs to take Hennig down and Curt bails to the floor. Back in and Goldberg charges into a boot in the corner but Hennig gets caught in a gorilla press powerslam. Curt goes after the knee with a chop block and some cannonballs. The HennigPlex gets two and it's the spear and Jackhammer to retain the title.

Rating: D. You know all those other Goldberg matches? Read whatever I said about any of those and swap out whatever that opponent's name for Curt Hennig.

We recap the main event without words. Basically the basketball players don't like each other because they played in the finals twice in a row and Hogan said some stuff about Page that DDP didn't like.

Diamond Dallas Page/Karl Malone vs. Dennis Rodman/Hollywood Hogan

Page and Malone have matching attire, which look like they jumped into a vat of hot glue with their jeans on. They come out to some hip hop song that keeps saying “feel the bang.” Malone looks like he's been carved out of granite while Rodman is in a t-shirt and jeans. The basketball players get us going but first Hogan has to take off Rodman's glasses. Rodman runs to the ropes to hide and the fans are all over him. That works so well that they do it a second time. A test of strength doesn't happen as we hit two minutes into the match.

Rodman grabs a headlock but bails to the floor when Malone charges at him. Off to Hogan for a posedown with Hollywood getting frustrated. Malone hooks a kind of standing chinlock (imagine a left arm Rock Bottom but he clasps his hands together and squeezes) before slamming Hogan down. We're five minutes in now and it's off to Page. DDP gets Rodman and shoves him down off a lockup. A shoulder puts Rodman down again as the stalling continues. They spit at each other and Rodman armdrags him down. Somehow we're seven minutes into this match.

They hit the ropes a bit and collide to send both guys down. Back to the headlock by Rodman but Page reverses into one of his own. The fans are clearly getting restless. Rodman leapfrogs Page twice and they collide again to give us more laying down. Malone comes in and kicks at Rodman, sending him over to Hogan for the tag. Karl hooks a top wristlock and shoves Hogan to the mat. Hogan complains of a hair pull and Rodman gets in a cheap shot to get to the whole tag match idea for the first time.

Hogan chokes a lot and slams Malone down before raking the boot over Malone's eyes. Rodman comes in with some elbow drops before it's back to Hogan for a chinlock. Here's Rodman again for some double teaming and a belly to back suplex from Hogan. Hollywood misses an elbow though and it's hot tag to Page. DDP comes in with a top rope clothesline to Hogan but a cheap shot from Rodman lets the NWO take over again. Hogan chokes away in the corner with his boot followed by a running clothesline.

Rodman comes in for a double big boot and more choking before it's back to Hogan for right hands in the corner. Page hits a quick elbow but Rodman breaks up the tag attempt and puts on a front facelock. Malone plays cheerleader on the apron and we get the unseen and phantom tag tropes to space the match out even more. The big boot puts Page down but he avoids the legdrop and it's hot tag off to Malone.

Clotheslines all around put the NWO down and they both get slams. There's a double noggin knocker followed by Hogan's head going into the buckle. A big boot drops Hogan and it's off to Page for a running Diamond Cutter (Hogan landed on his hands, making the move look horrible). Malone Diamond Cuts Rodman but Disciple sneaks in with a Stunner to Page, giving Hogan the pin and a face pop for some reason.

Rating: F. This was about what you knew it was going to be, though it could have been FAR worse. Malone was clearly taking this seriously which is more than you can say for most celebrities in matches. Rodman looked like your usual celebrity wrestler: decent at the one or two really basic moves he used but pretty worthless otherwise. I've read before that this was originally booked to go nearly an hour, which makes me shiver in fear. I guess Hogan needed this win as a thank you for the mainstream attention he brought in?

Malone gives Disciple and the referee Diamond Cutters (good ones too) and the NWO celebrates like this is a big deal.

The announcers talk a bit to wrap things up.

Overall Rating: C. This is the WCW PPV formula but a better version than usual. The earlier stuff is mostly good while the main events cripple it, though Goldberg's match was what the fans wanted to see and was executed as well as it could have been. The problem with the company is the same as always though: the main stories aren't going anywhere. The tag match doesn't change anything here and everyone involved in it now needs to start a new story. It's a good show overall, but as usual turn it off before the main event.

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