PPV/Event CoverageWCW PPVWCW PPV 1996

‘WCW BASH AT THE BEACH 1996’ Recap + Thoughts – The New World Organization, Brother!

DATE: July 7, 1996
VENUE: Ocean Center (Daytona Beach, FL)
COMMENTATORS: Tony Schiavone, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, & “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes

Bash at the Beach 1996 features a fight for WCW’s future as Sting, Lex Luger, & Randy Savage team up to take on the invading force of Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, and a mystery partner (brother). This is one of the biggest wrestling main events of all-time and it permanently alters the course of WCW’s future in both a positive and negative way. But that’s not all that’s on the show, as we’ve got additional title matches including Konnan vs. Ric Flair for the United States Heavyweight Championship, a Double Dog Collar Match between The Nasty Boys and Public Enemy, a Carson City Dollar match between John Tenta and Big Bubba, and “Desperado” Joe Gomez in his one and only singles PPV appearance against Steve “Mongo” McMichael

Okay fine it’s mostly the nWo thing that this show is remembered for.


  • WCW WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPION: “The Total Package” Lex Luger
  • WCW CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPION: “The Man of 1,000 Holds’ Dean Malenko
  • WCW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: Harlem Heat (Booker T & Stevie Ray)


  • Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Psicosis [RECAP]
  • TAPED FIST/LORD OF THE RING MATCH: Jim Duggan vs. Diamond Dallas Page [RECAP]
  • TAG TEAM DOG COLLAR MATCH: The Nasty Boys vs. Public Enemy [RECAP]
  • Dean Malenko [c] vs. Disco Inferno for the WCW CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP [RECAP]
  • Joe Gomez vs. Steve McMichael [RECAP]
  • Arn Anderson & Chris Benoit vs. The Giant & Kevin Sullivan [RECAP]
  • Sting, Lex Luger, & Randy Savage vs. Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, & ??? [RECAP]





-After some pyro/camera pans of the crowd the show cuts to Schiavone, Heenan, & Rhodes at the commentary perch, security posted at both sides of the desk. Eric Bischoff has been reported missing and there’s fears he’s been kidnapped. BUT ENOUGH ABOUT CRIMES LET’S GET TO THE RASSLIN’.

Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Psicosis

Mike Tenay of The Wrestling Insider joins the announce team for this one, hoping to lend some credibility to commentary by knowing the names of the moves about to be used. Mysterio made his debut last month at The Great American Bash in a loss to Cruiserweight Champion Dean Malenko but impressed many in the process. He and Psicosis are no strangers to each other, having many battles not only in their native Mexico but stateside for ECW, helping them get noticed by WCW in the first place.

Mysterio quickly sends Psicosis to the floor with an armdrag, Psicosis getting so much speed that he ends up crashing into the barricade. Back in the ring Mysterio and Psicosis trade submissions, including a bow & arrow and cross armbreaker. Mysterio connects with a wheelbarrow armdrag, Psicosis dodges a springboard moonsault and sends him out to the floor with a spinning heel kick followed by a suicide dive over the top rope. Back in the ring Psicosis connects with a legdrop for the 1…2…Mysterio kicks out, Psicosis applies a seated cobra clutch. Psicosis lets go and connects with a top-rope guillotine legdrop for the 1…2…Mysterio kicks out once more, Psicosis hits ANOTHER legdrop this time Mysterio draped over the bottom rope. That man’s poor tailbone. Psicosis runs through Mysterio with a clothesline but takes too long to cover and can’t get the pin so he settles into a headscissors to further wear him down. Battle moves to the apron and Mysterio launches Psicosis into the Carson City Dollar pole followed by a hurricanrana on the floor. Mysterio rolls Psicosis in and rolls him up with a springboard rana for the 1…2…Psicosis kicks out! Mysterio goes to work on Psicosis’ knee in an attempt to ground him and connects with a corner dropkick for the 1…2…Psicosis grabs the bottom rope. Psicosis stuns Mysterio with a drop toehold and reapplies a headscissors, using the bottom rope for leverage. Psicosis pops Mysterio up and he bounces WILDLY off the top rope, hung out to try. Goddamn. 

Mysterio rolls to the floor, Psicosis drops him across the guardrail and comes off the top with a senton, hurting himself in the process as well. Back in the ring Psicosis connects with an enzuigiri for the 1…2…Mysterio kicks out and Psicosis locks him in a camel clutch. Mysterio escapes a hammerlock with a hip toss and connects with a cartwheel into another rana, following up with a rana off the apron and to the floor! Back in the ring Mysterio connects with a slingshot moonsault for the 1…2…Psicosis kicks out, Mysterio sends him out to the floor with a dropkick to the back of the head. Mysterio follows up with an Asai moonsault but hits the guardrail on his way down. Mysterio tries another springboard, Psicosis counters him on the way down with a Liger Bomb for the 1…2…Mysterio kicks out! Psicosis rams Mysterio in the corner and seats him on the buckles; Psicosis attempts a Splash Mountain and Mysterio counters on the way down with a hurricanrana for the 1…2…3!

Rey Mysterio Jr. defeated Psicosis via pinfall (15:17)

  • JON’S THOUGHTS: Is it weird to steal the show in the first match because if not Mysterio & Psicosis did just that. An excellent match with some of the coolest spots you could see in mainstream wrestling circa ‘96 (that rana to the floor was NUTS). It was really cool to see the crowd get more and more into it as the match went on as well, won over by the spectacle they were bearing witness to. Helluva start. (***3/4)


”Mean” Gene Okerlund has his guest, U.S. Champ Konnan, explains the finish to Mysterio/Psicosis even though we JUST heard Tenay explain it perfectly. Konnan turns his attention to Ric Flair, vowing to return to Mexico with the U.S. Title, having just wrestled in his home country the night before.

John Tenta vs. Big Bubba [w/ “The Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart]

Tenta got a measure of revenge on Bubba last month at The Great American Bash, coming out victorious in their match and even cutting a piece of Bubba’s beard off as a trophy/revenge for Bubba shaving him. SOMEHOW this has led to a Carson City Silver Dollar match, which is just “Object on a Pole” with the object being a sock full of silver dollars that either man can use against their opponent if they obtain it. You might be asking how Tenta and Bubba, two VERY LARGE MEN, are going to get said silver dollars. Let’s find out.

Tenta charges the ring wanting to fight but Bubba makes him wait, bailing to the floor Mike Rotunda-style. Bubba catches Tenta with an elbow, Tenta reverses a whip and drops him with a shoulderblock. Tenta pulls Bubba back into the ring and chokes him with his boot. Bubba blinds Tenta, Tenta bounces Bubba’s head off the top turnbuckle and goes to the pole, teasing he’s going to climb it (!!!) but gets stopped. Bubba drops Tenta and thinks about climbing, Tenta slams him off the top rope and halfway across the ring. Tenta shakes the pole, trying to knock it off instead of climb it, Bubba peels him off the buckles with a belly-to-back suplex and both men are feeling it. Bubba goes for the pole, Tenta crotches him on the top rope strut then drops him on it again, the most painful atomic drop of all-time. Tenta tosses Bubba to the floor, giving him the time to figure out how to get that silver dollar sock off the pole. Knowing he’s too big to climb Tenta tries to undo the pole from the post but gets attacked from behind by Bubba who chokes him with his belt. Bubba ties Tenta’s left arm to the middle rope with wrist tape (not the other though like a dummy) and connects with a series of rights, his belt wrapped around his knuckles. Bubba whips and chokes Tenta some more as we hit hour 10 of this matchup. Bubba pulls out some scissors and cuts more hair from Tenta, Tenta responds with a low-blow using his free hand. Tenta cuts himself loose and tries to cut one of the straps connecting the pole to the post but gets attacked before he can get the other. Bubba rings Tenta’s bell and drills him with a spinebuster. Bubba tells Hart to climb the pole, Hart takes his jacket off and scurries up the barely attached pole; Tenta flattens Bubba with a powerslam and takes the silver dollars from Hart, WHACKING BUBBA IN THE JAW for the 1…2…3.

John Tenta defeated Big Bubba via pinfall (8:52)

  • JON’S THOUGHTS: Lots of clubberin’ but they ran out of stuff to do almost immediately and I could feel the seconds tick by while they took their time to the finish. Props to Jimmy Hart for climbing a very unsafe pole to grab the silver dollar sock, and honestly that whole final minute or so was great and made up for it. I think they should’ve super reinforced it and had Tenta or Bubba actually climb but that’s probably too much to ask. Wish it had been a little shorter but I didn’t hate this too much. (*3/4)

Tenta empties the silver dollars on Bubba, putting one in each eyelid so he can cross the river Styx in the afterlife. Well that was considerate.


-Schiavone, Heenan, & Rhodes still have no word on the whereabouts of Eric Bischoff, Schiavone pleading with Bischoff to call in and let them know. Heenan has asked everybody he knows, even people who doesn’t know wrestling, but no one can tell him who the third man is. 

-Okerlund is standing by with Team WCW: Sting, Lex Luger, & Randy Savage, all wearing the Stinger’s warpaint that matches their respective gear. I love it. Savage doesn’t care who the third man is; all that matters is they’re going to get hurt just like the other guys. Luger says the Outsiders have made a lot of loud noise and is proud to represent WCW to the best of his abilities. Sting says the unknown gives him a dry mouth and gives him goosebumps, the same thing to Savage & Luger. They are a team and they’re ready to go. 

“Hacksaw” Jim Duggan vs. Diamond Dallas Page 

Duggan loves taping up his fists to FIGHT, so this Taped Fist Match is right up his alley. Not sure what his beef with DDP is but I do know that DDP’s Battlebowl ring he won back in May is on the line, hence why this is also being billed as a “Lord of the Ring” match. I could’ve sworn I heard somebody say DDP is supposed to get a World Title shot because he won the Lethal Lottery but it doesn’t seem like that’s high up on anybody’s agenda.

Duggan escapes a headlock and knocks DDP out of the ring with a shoulder tackle, leading the crowd in a “USA” chant. DDP tapes Duggan’s legs to the post and removes the tape from his fists, but it doesn’t matter as Duggan’s meat hooks are enough to send him crashing to the floor after riding the middle rope like a see-saw. Duggan sends DDP into the guardrail and post, and continues attacking the spine with a suplex back into the ring. Duggan tries another, DDP blocks by holding the ropes and rides Hacksaw into the canvas with an armbreaker. Duggan crotches DDP on the top buckle and follows up with count-a-long buckle shots and a clothesline to the floor. Duggan rolls DDP in, DDP kicks the rope into Duggan’s crotch and follows up with the Diamond Cutter for the 1…2…3!

Diamond Dallas Page defeated Jim Duggan via pinfall (5:38)

  • JON’S THOUGHTS: Not much of a Taped Fist match considering one guy only had them taped up for like a minute, tops. Felt kind of pointless, really. At least DDP won though, the Diamond Cutter is the most protected move in WCW at this point. (*1/2)

Duggan quickly tapes his right first and knocks DDP out during his celebration to stand tall. Rude.


-Okerlund welcomes his guests, WCW World Champion The Giant, “The Taskmaster” Kevin Sullivan, and their manager Jimmy Hart, who he introduces as a little twerp for absolutely no reason and made me pause the show because I was laughing too hard to concentrate. Sullivan calls Florida home court advantage and is burning at the idea of being considered the weak link of The Dungeon of Doom. Giant says Sullivan is the backbone of the Dungeon of Doom, the one who brought him to WCW, and says he is the elite in the company, not The Four Horsemen. Giant vows to have some horse stew later. 

”Stagger” Lee Marshall is on the entrance stage with Chris Benoit & Arn Anderson of The Four Horsemen. If they can beat The Dungeon of Doom, a member of the Horsemen will get a World Title shot on Monday Nitro. Anderson first addresses The Outsiders and reluctantly backs Sting, Savage, & Luger despite not liking them much. Anderson says if they chop Giant in half he’s only 3’6”. Benoit calls himself “silent but violent” and vows to leave Sullivan “for dead”. Ooooooof.

The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs & Jerry Sags) vs. Public Enemy (Rocco Rock & Johnny Grunge)

Public Enemy came to WCW by way of Extreme Championship Wrestling, where they were one of the hottest acts in the company since almost its inception. Times change and money talks though and now Public Enemy have joined countless other ECW alum into WCW, looking to make their mark on a grander stage. And there’s no better team they could’ve picked a fight with than The Nasty Boys, who were ECW before ECW existed. Two brawler teams given free reign to f*ck each other up…AND THERE’S DOG COLLARS? Let’s goooo baybeeee.

My dream of having all four connected to one dog collar chain is dashed as the teams pair off: Knobbs with Grunge and Saggs with Rock. It takes precisely 30 seconds before they spill to the floor, split-screen following both pairs as they clubber and bubber. Knobbs lays Grunge out with a trash can, Rock comes off the guardrail with a chain shot to the shoulder. Sags crotches Rock on the guardrail, Knobbs and Grunge battle to the beach setup on the entrance area, Knobbs using a RUBBER SHARK because why the f*ck not. Sags brings Rock to the lifeguard setup and bashes him with a surfboard, Knobbs with a chair on Grunge. Rock climbs the lifeguard stand and hits Sags with a senton, Knobbs beating the sh*t out of Grunge with a steel chair and almost getting the pinfall. Rock climbs back up the lifeguard perch and Sags shoves it over to knock him off. Grunge whips Knobbs with the chain as Sags drops a table on Rock. Grunge flips the table over to set it up, Knobbs lays him on it and splashes but the table does NOT break. Sags drills Rock with a piledriver on a chair but no cover is made. Sags charges and eats nothing but table, Rock comes off the guardrail to fully put him through, Knobbs covers Grunge for the 1…2…Grunge kicks out. 

Nasties and Public Enemy make their way back to ringside, Sags clubbing Rock in the back of the head with a chain-wrapped fist. The teams return to the ring, Rock sets up a table and lays Sags on top. Rock heads to the top, Sags “yanks” the chain and Rock BOUNCES OFF THE TABLE. Goddamn. Knobbs clubbers Grunge, Sags comes off the middle buckle onto Rock but again the table won’t break. Knobbs hangs Grunge over the top rope with the chain, Sags whips Rock right into said chain and drops on top for the 1…2…3.

The Nasty Boys defeated Public Enemy via pinfall (11:26)

  • JON’S THOUGHTS: Okay maybe my excitement was a tad bit misplaced here. Match had some okay moments but went on for a lot longer than what they seemed to have ideas for, leading to a lot of what felt like dead air. I’m gonna give it the gentleman’s two though for the spectacle and for the commentary, who kept me entertained the whole time. Dusty Rhodes getting real excited and entertained by hardcore wrestling is the best. (**)

Public Enemy attacks The Nasty Boys, Grunge whipping Knobbs with the heavy chain, Sags falling through a ringside table. 


-Okerlund is backstage, flanked by security as The Outsiders’ locker room is right behind him. He tried to get a word from them regarding their third man but no one’s talking.

“The Man of 1,000 Holds” Dean Malenko [c] vs. Disco Inferno for the WCW CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP

Disco Inferno arrived in WCW in 1995 as a comic relief character, a man stuck in 70s Saturday Night Fever mode. However in recent months he has tried to take things a little more seriously and has earned a shot against Malenko, the man atop the Cruiserweight mountain. Malenko made his first successful PPV title defense last month at The Great American Bash and is looking to make it 2-0. 

Before the match Disco makes fun of Malenko, calling him “Mr. Personality”, and the Cruiserweight Champ hits the ring like a house of fire sending him to the floor and throwing him into the ringpost. Back in the ring Malenko connects with a Brainbuster for the 1…2…Disco kicks out, Malenko immediately slaps on a rear-chinlock into a headscissors. Disco forces a rope break, Malenko drops him on his neck with a Siato suplex and goes to work on his left leg. Disco lunges in for a right, Malenko dodges and brings him back to the canvas with a snapmare, connecting with a dropkick to the back of the head for the 1…2…Disco kicks out, Malenko traps him in an STF. Malenko floats over Disco and rolls him up with a sunset flip for the 1…2…Disco kicks out, continuing to impress the commentators with his perseverance. Disco finds the fight in him and connects with a series of rights followed by a Stun Gun. Malenko regains offensive control, tossing Disco into the guardrail and locking him in a crucifix hold. Disco powers through the pain and nudges his way to the bottom rope to force a break. Malenko connects with a springboard legdrop for the 1…2…Disco kicks out once again. 

Disco surprises Malenko with a headbutt to the midsection and connects with a series of elbows in the corner. Malenko dodges Disco in the corner, Disco blocks a flying axhandle and connects with a spinning neckbreaker, almost stopping to dance but instead covering for the 1…Malenko gets his foot on the rope. Disco with a back bodydrop for the 1…2…Malenko kicks out. Disco follows up with a swinging neckbreaker and starts dancing but quickly snaps out of it and covers for the 1…2…cost him anyway. Malenko surprises Disco with a springboard kick and goes for the Cloverleaf, Disco counters with a small package for the 1…2…Malenko kicks out, Disco connects with a lariat for the 1…2…Malenko kicks out. Disco dodges a dropkick and tries to power out of a backslide, Malenko changes gears and connects with a butterfly bomb into the Texas Cloverleaf for the submission.

Dean Malenko [c] defeated Disco Inferno via submission to retain the WCW CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP (12:02)

  • JON’S THOUGHTS: Malenko rocked as always, but the real story of the match and on commentary was Disco Inferno almost figuring it out and overcoming his need to showboat and dance to get the victory. Good effort there, but you can’t beat the Iceman that easily. Good match! (***)


“Desperado” Joe Gomez vs. Steve “Mongo” McMichael [w/ Debra McMichael]

McMichael shocked the world last month at The Great American Bash by turning on his tag team partner Kevin Greene and taking a briefcase full of money to join The Four Horsemen at the behest of his wife Debra. Gomez might have a new name and gimmick but he’s no stranger to WCW, having competed as Allen Iron Eagle from 90-91. He was not very good back then but maybe he’s gotten better in the years since.

Gomez tries to attack early but Mongo immediately brings him to the corner for a couple of chops. Mongo whips Gomez into the opposite corner and connects with a three-point stance lariat. Gomez fires back with rights and a double chop off the Irish whip. Gomez ducks a back elbow and brings Mongo to the canvas for the 1…2…Mongo kicks out and they reset. Mongo muscles Gomez to the corner and lights him up with a chop and shoulders to the midsection. Gomez fires back with rights of his own, Mongo catches him with a mule kick to the groin (ref didn’t see it) and a field goal to the ribs. Mongo clubs Gomez with a double axhandle and slows it down with a camel clutch. Gomez escapes, Mongo grabs a sleeper but Gomez quickly counters with a jawbreaker. Gomez attempts a backdrop, Mongo counters with a nasty neckbreaker for the 1…2…Gomez kicks out. Mongo goes for a Figure Four, Gomez counters with a cradle for the 1…2…not yet. Gomez dodges an elbowdrop and backdrops his way out of a piledriver attempt. Gomez connects with a series of drops followed by a pair of goofy-ass dropkicks. Gomez goes for a sunset flip, Mongo sits on him but Gomez finally gets him over for the 1…2…Mongo kicks out and connects with a Tombstone Piledriver for the 1…2…3.

Steve McMichael defeated Joe Gomez via pinfall (6:43)

  • JON’S THOUGHTS: This was only Mongo’s third match as a professional wrestler and while the cracks did show a little bit he carried himself like a natural. Gomez might have a new gimmick but he hasn’t given up that Allen Iron Eagle offense, but at least he was a little better this go around so’s not to stink the joint out. Not as bad as you would think, to be honest. Crowd is OVER IT though and wants to get to the goddamn main event already. (*3/4)


-Okerlund is in the locker room with “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair, Miss Elizabeth, and the seductive Woman who takes Mean Gene off his game early before he snaps out of it and remembers he’s a professional. Flair vows to be both U.S. Champ and World Champ after tomorrow night. Flair sings La Cucaracha like an ignorant white man is wont to do to throw shade at Konnan. This is not one of his better promos but Woman’s flirting with Okerlund was great.

Konnan [c] vs. “The Nature Boy’ Ric Flair [w/ Miss Elizabeth & Woman] for the WCW UNITED STATES HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP

Flair shows some respect at the start, shaking Konnan’s hand without any cheapshots. Konnan brings Flair to the canvas with a side headlock, Flair backs him to the ropes and connects with a jab to the ribs. Flair tackles Konnan, Konnan dropkicks Flair to the abdomen, sending him to the corner. Flair slaps Konnan, Konnan slaps back and down goes The Nature Boy. Flair quickly counters a headlock with a top wristlock, Konnan powers out and brings him to the canvas, reapplying a side headlock. Konnan tackles Flair and gives him a “WOO!” of his own which pops the crowd. Flair chops Konnan in the corner followed by a closed fist to the cheek. Konnan reverses a corner whip and sends Flair into the lights with a backdrop, following up with a surfboard as Woman SHRIEKS her fear in the background. Konnan transitions into what Dusty calls a “Bow & Arrow situation”, Flair escapes and Konnan connects with a press slam. Flair chops Konnan, Konnan drops him with a right hand. Konnan connects with another press slam followed by a clothesline that sends both men to the floor. Woman & Liz check on Flair, Konnan comes off the apron with a clothesline that knocks Liz down as well. Konnan climbs the buckles and Woman shakes the ropes to send him crashing to the canvas while Flair hides behind Liz just in case, turning the tide for the Dirtiest Player in the Game. 

Flair measures Konnan and connects with a kneedrop right to the bridge of the nose for the 1…2…Konnan kicks out. Flair distracts the ref, Woman kicks Konnan right in the BOWLS as the crowd goes wild. Heenan says he couldn’t see it because the digital scope got fuzzy on his monitor, Schiavone says Konnan’s digital scope is fuzzy too now. Very good. Flair suplexes Konnan back into the ring, showing off some strength by delaying it a bit, for the 1…2…Konnan kicks out of repeated pinfall attempts and Flair switches to a rear-chinlock. Konnan fires chops at Flair and corner mount rights leading to a Flair Flop. Konnan sends Flair to the corner, Flair flips over to the apron and Konnan sends him to the floor with a springboard dropkick. Konnan attempts a sunset flip, Flair connects with a right hand and goes for the Figure Four but Konnan counters with a small package for the 1…2…not yet. Konnan brings Flair to the canvas with a drop toehold and applies a FIGURE FOUR OF HIS OWN but Flair gets to the ropes. Konnan suplexes Flair back into the ring and floats over into the lateral press for the 1…2…Flair kicks out. Flair catches a charging Konnan with a back elbow and heads to the top; to the surprise of everyone ever he gets slammed off. Konnan connects with a rolling clothesline for the 1…2…not yet. Flair goes for a hip toss and Konnan rolls him up but Liz distracts the ref. Flair connects with a backbreaker and after waiting FOREVER Woman hits Konnan with her shoe and Flair covers, feet on the ropes, for the 1…2…3.

Ric Flair defeated Konnan [c] via pinfall to win the WCW UNITED STATES HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP (15:38)

  • JON’S THOUGHTS: Ric Flair having an Autopilot Ric Flair Match, so it was good but it didn’t really ever get better than that. He did a decent job at making Konnan look credible but Konnan had been a nothing U.S. Champ for the past seven months so it was time to get the belt off him. At least K-Dawg got to lose via shmozz and feet on the ropes, I guess. (**1/2)


-Okerlund is eavesdropping on a “Restricted Area” door, mentioning that the “third man” has joined The Outsiders. The voice sounds familiar but he can’t quite place it yet. Schiavone asks Okerlund to give him a guess, Okerlund says it’s someone that they’ve heard before. No one has yet to hear anything about Eric Bischoff. 

“The Enforcer” Arn Anderson & “The Crippler” Chris Benoit vs. The Giant & “The Taskmaster” Kevin Sullivan

The Horsemen and The Dungeon of Doom struck a partnership earlier in the year in their attempts to end Hulkamania once and for all, but Anderson finally put an end to it last month at The Great American Bash when he joined Benoit in beating up Sullivan following the Falls Count Anywhere match. Now The Dungeon is out for blood and Sullivan is bringing his prized charge, and World Champ, The Giant to help settle the score. If the Horsemen win tonight, then one of their members will get a shot at The Giant’s World Championship on Nitro. 

Giant & Sullivan attack Anderson & Benoit during the latter’s entrance, Sullivan hitting Anderson with a chair. Steve McMichael runs out and hits Giant with his briefcase; Giant gives chase to the back and now Sullivan is left alone. Bell finally rings as Giant returns with Jimmy Hart by his side, but the damage is done: Sullivan has been isolated and will now have to battle for a tag. Benoit tags in and Sullivan fights real dirty, attempting to bite his nose off. Benoit backs Sullivan into the corner, Anderson tags in and tosses Sullivan to the floor, Sullivan whips him into the guardrail but Anderson quickly grabs him to prevent a tag. Sullivan fights off the Horsemen with a double noggin knocker, Benoit jumps him and punches him in the back of the head repeatedly to stop a tag attempt. Anderson goes for a DDT, Giant clotheslines him from the apron and Sullivan covers for the 1…2…Benoit breaks it up. Anderson drags Sullivan back to Horsemen territory and tags out to Benoit, who drills him with a corner elbow. Benoit sets up for a superplex, Giant walks in and Benoit tries a flying crossbody but Giant catches him and throws him into Anderson. Anderson tags back in and ensnares Sullivan in an abdominal stretch, Sullivan escapes with a hip toss. Benoit tags in and takes the legs out, wailing on him with rights. Sullivan kicks his way out of a leglock and counters a splash with a pair of knees. Sullivan tries a kick but Benoit swats it away and connects with a strong kick of his own. Anderson tags in, Sullivan sweeps the legs and catapults him into the buckle to crotch Benoit on the top turnbuckle. Giant gets the tag and goes to work on Anderson as Benoit & Sullivan fight to the commentary perch. Sullivan slams Benoit, Giant chokeslams Anderson and covers for the 1…2…3.

The Giant & Kevin Sullivan defeated Arn Anderson & Chris Benoit via pinfall (8:00)

  • JON’S THOUGHTS: Loved the Horsemen attacking and isolating Sullivan early, which built to Giant’s hot tag beautifully (and also proved that Sullivan is indeed the Dungeon weak link as he got the win almost immediately). Knowing where Benoit & Sullivan goes and the awful real-life events that would occur from this storyline makes truly enjoying their stuff really hard to do but I will say that their feud might be the most believable I’ve ever seen. Every time they meet they battled like they were trying to rip each other’s eyes out. (***)

Sullivan leaves Benoit to join Giant, Benoit leaps off the commentary perch onto him and they crash into the sand on the entrance stage. Benoit brings Sullivan back to the ring, Giant having LEFT HIS OWN BOSS TO THE WOLVES, and plants him with a massive belly-to-back suplex from the middle buckle. Woman comes out and begs Benoit to stop his attack on Sullivan, Giant returns and scares them off, then carries Sullivan to the back over his shoulder. 


-MUSIC VIDEO: Recap of the “Hostile Takeover” attempt by Scott Hall & Kevin Nash (still unnamed at this point I believe), challenging WCW to a match at Bash at the Beach and teasing their mysterious third man.

Michael Buffer is brought in for the introductions/pre-match hype about Hostile Takeovers and whatnot. Scott Hall & Kevin Nash make their way out first…but without their mysterious third man, unnerving Buffer & the commentators. “Mean” Gene Okerlund comes out and confronts The Outsiders about the third man; Hall says he’s here and he’s ready, Nash says they’re enough to handle things right now. THE FLEEEEEEEEX.

Sting, “The Total Package” Lex Luger, & “Macho Man” Randy Savage vs. The Outsiders (Scott Hall & Kevin Nash)

Hall made his surprise WCW debut in May, declaring war on the company unofficially on behalf of the WWF, Nash debuting the next week as his partner in crime. At The Great American Bash they said they WEREN’T part of the WWF still after WCW got real-life sued and put Eric Bischoff through a table. Sting, Luger, & Savage have stepped up on behalf of WCW to take on these invaders, and tonight they will attempt to stop the hostile takeover before it really gets going. 

Hall flicks his toothpick at Luger, Luger slaps him in the face and connects with a running forearm. Luger gets sent to the apron, Nash holds him against the top rope strut and Sting connects with a Stinger Splash on Nash; Luger gets crushed in the process and is taken out on a stretcher. Goodbye Lex…FOR NOW. I’m just kidding he’s not the third man. OR IS HE? Nah. OR IS HE? Okay for real he’s not.

Match resumes, Sting hammering the back of Hall’s head against the canvas repeatedly after getting slapped. Sting stuns Hall with an inverted atomic drop followed by a one-handed bulldog. Savage tags in, Hall catches him on the way off the buckles with a right hand. Nash gets the tag, Savage showing no fear. Savage dodges Nash in the corner and connects with a series of jabs, Nash catches him with a knee and elbows him to the canvas. Savage dodges an elbowdrop and makes the tag to Sting, Nash works him over with knee and elbows in the corner. Sting floats over Nash and connects with a dropkick; Sting tries a sunset flip but Nash goozles him out and throws him to the canvas. Outsiders work Sting over in their corner, Savage chomping at the bit to get involved but being kept at bay by the ref. Hall throws Sting with a fallaway slam and covers for the 1…2…Sting kicks out. Nash tags in and kicks a field goal into Sting’s ribs. Sting ducks a clothesline and connects with a dropkick to Nash’s left knee, Hall quickly tags in and drops an elbow to prevent a tag. Hall traps Sting in an abdominal stretch, Nash giving him extra leverage from the apron. Nash “tags in” and takes over on the stretch, clubbing Sting’s exposed ribs with forearms. Sting escapes with an eye rake, Hall quickly tags in and drills Sting with a clothesline for the 1…2…Sting kicks out, Hall moves to a sleeperhold. Hall tosses Sting to the floor, Savage charges over with a chair so Nash can’t get a cheapshot in. Sting absorbs more punishment but starts fighting back with jabs and makes the leaping tag to Savage! Savage sends Hall into Nash then tosses Hall to the floor so he can pound away on Nash unabated. Savage connects with a top rope double axhandle and brings Hall back in for another double ax! Ref checks on Hall, NASH WITH A LOW-BLOW TO SAVAGE.

Bodies are strewn about the ring as Hulk Hogan starts marching to the ring. Schiavone & Rhodes cheer him on while Heenan asks whose side he’s on. Hall & Nash clear the ring as Hogan rips his shirt. Hogan stares them down, pushes the ref out of the way, and LEGDROPS SAVAGE! 

Sting, Lex Luger, & Randy Savage fought The Outsiders to a no-contest (17:24-ish?)

  • JON’S THOUGHTS: People have spent 20+ years talking about the nWo and dissecting it to death so it’s hard to remember just how f*cking REVOLUTIONARY this felt in 1996. I was 9 years old when this was going down and watching it in real-time was just…look, this sh*t is the reason why I love pro wrestling so much and can never let it go. The match itself was…what it was, way too much of an actual wrestling match than a fight given The Outsiders were literally trying to destroy the company that put food on everybody’s table, but as far as atmosphere and story it was so well-done. Hall & Nash coming out saying they didn’t need their third man to beat Team WCW? Tremendous. Taking Luger out early to even the odds? Brilliant. Dominating Sting & Savage and looking like a credible and serious threat? Excellent. Star rating is gonna say what it says but man what a thing. AND THEN HULK F*CKING HOGAN DOES THE THING. (**3/4)

Hogan tosses the ref out of the ring and hits another Big Legdrop on Savage, covering as Hall counts the 1…2…3. Trash begins to fill the ring as Hall & Nash antagonize the crowd, Hogan soaking in the hatred of a crowd that has been rabid for YEARS to finally boo this man unimpeded. “Mean” Gene Okerlund gets in the ring to get some words from Hogan, Hogan telling the crowd to shut up if they want to hear what he’s got to say. Hogan calls Hall & Nash the future of wrestling, and the world can call this “the New World Order…OF WRESTLING, BROTHER” (so close!). Okerlund tells Hogan he made the wrong decision, Hogan talks about making the organization “Up North” a lot of money and how he came to WCW because he was promised millions of dollars and world-caliber matches by Billionaire Ted but now he’s bored, brother. Hogan wants The Outsiders as his friends as they’re the new blood of professional wrestling; not only are they going to take over pro wrestling, they will destroy EVERYTHING in their path. Okerlund references the trash that has gathered in the ring, Hogan says the crap in the ring represents the fans; for two years he held his head high and did everything for the charities and kids and tells them to “STICK IT” for the reception he got. If it wasn’t for Hulk Hogan wrestling wouldn’t be where it is today and asks “WHATCHA GONNA DO WHEN THE NEW WORLD ORGANIZATION RUNS WILD ON YOU!”. Okerlund bails, Hogan & The Outsiders continue soaking in the jeers as Schiavone signs off with a simple emphatic “Hulk Hogan you can go straight to hell”.

  • JON’S THOUGHTS: Chef’s kiss. The biggest heel turn of all-time, the visual of an entire crowd filling the ring up with garbage, Hogan getting to let out of his real-world frustrations at being booed despite being a good guy, the establishing of the biggest threat WCW has ever faced. God I love all of this and isolated this is one of the best things I have ever seen as a pro wrestling fan. But now with its proper historical context it’s hard not to wince a little knowing this great idea of the nWo is going to not only bring WCW to new heights but also help kill the whole damn thing.




  • Rey Mysterio Jr. defeated Psicosis via pinfall (15:17) (***3/4)
  • CARSON CITY SILVER DOLLAR MATCH: John Tenta defeated Big Bubba via pinfall (8:52) (*3/4)
  • TAPED FIST/LORD OF THE RING MATCH: Diamond Dallas Page defeated Jim Duggan via pinfall (5:38) (*1/2)
  • TAG TEAM DOG COLLAR MATCH: The Nasty Boys defeated Public Enemy via pinfall (11:26) (**)
  • Dean Malenko [c] defeated Disco Inferno via submission to retain the WCW CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP (12:02) (***)
  • Steve McMichael defeated Joe Gomez via pinfall (6:43) (*3/4)
  • Ric Flair defeated Konnan [c] via pinfall to win the WCW UNITED STATES HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP (15:38) (**1/2)
  • The Giant & Kevin Sullivan defeated Arn Anderson & Chris Benoit via pinfall (8:00) (***)
  • Sting, Lex Luger, & Randy Savage fought The Outsiders to a no-contest (17:24-ish?) (**3/4)



We can talk about PPV quality and all that stuff if you want, but let’s be real: Bash at the Beach 1996 will be remembered almost entirely for Hulk Hogan’s heel turn and the formation of the New World Order. It’s one of the biggest moments in pro wrestling history and honestly the best thing WCW did during their entire run, and even watching it 20+ years later it gives me chills. If anything people should at least watch that match/the aftermath.

But if you’re feeling adventurous I’d say the event is worth checking out as a whole anyway. The commentators do a great job selling the unease and dread as it marches towards the main event, creating an atmospheric powder keg by the time Michael Buffer hits the stage. There are some good matches to be found here too, with Mysterio & Psicosis opening things with the best match on the entire PPV and a good Cruiserweight Title match with Malenko facing an unlikely challenger in Disco Inferno. Bash at the Beach 1996 is one of my favorite PPVs of all-time and I can’t wait to watch it all over again.

  • FAVORITE MATCH: Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Psicosis
  • FAVORITE MOMENT: Hulk Hogan hits the Legdrop heard ‘round the world and cuts a blistering post-match promo announcing the beginning of the New World Order. That’s an obvious one though, so here’s a backup: Dusty Rhodes’ absolute GLEE while calling the Nasty Boys/Public Enemy dog collar match. That man loves his plunder and it’s so much fun to hear him laugh and have the time of his life.


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