Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over twelve years now and have reviewed over 6,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?
Bash at the Beach 2000
Date: July 9, 2000
Location: Ocean Center, Daytona Beach, Florida
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Scott Hudson, Mark Madden
Oh boy. After all those nice weeks of no Russo and/or Bischoff to screw things up, tonight we’re back to the old ways because this wrestling and storytelling stuff must be stopped at all costs. It’s a double main event of Goldberg vs. Kevin Nash for Scott Hall’s contract and Hulk Hogan challenging Jeff Jarrett for the World Title. Let’s get to it.
Cat sends Smooth the Limo Driver to tell the Filthy Animals and the Misfits in Action that they’re banned from ringside during the Cruiserweight Title match. The Jung Dragons show up and attack Cat, likely trying to get more money. See, now this is the kind of idea that doesn’t need to be here but makes SO much more sense with the context of watching Thunder. Unfortunately WCW doesn’t explain anything of it, thinking that everyone saw the one off segment that set it up.
The opening video is just stills of the four men in the two main events. No narration or anything, but it does have shots of Jarrett’s fat women.
We get some very lame pyro as Penzer is in a beach shirt.
Cruiserweight Title: Juventud Guerrera vs. Lieutenant Loco
Loco is defending but Juvy stole the belt on Thunder. Konnan tells Juvy to keep the title and wants Disco/Rey to go after the Tag Team Titles. The seconds are all sent out but the Animals stick around for a bit instead. Tony: “The bell has sounded in this sports entertainment opening bout.” Loco clotheslines him to the floor to start and it’s already time to stall.
Madden tries to figure out what was up with the Dragons so Scott, who seems to actually watch Thunder, explains the story. Mark has nothing in response, basically making this a quick production meeting for him. Back in and Juvy fires off some right hands but gets taken down into an armbar. Loco is wrestling a much slower paced style here which is normally the heel Cruiserweight Champion style.
Juvy blocks a charge with an elbow but a double cross body puts both of them down. Back up again and Chavo sends him to the floor for a big plancha as we’ve got the Filthy Animals in masks because we’re on a Russo show and two talented guys wrestling are going is going to bore the fans and make them change the channel FROM A PAY PER VIEW THEY ALREADY BOUGHT.
The Animals are taken to the back as Juvy drops a slingshot legdrop to the floor (thankfully not breaking his tailbone like Johnny the Bull). Back in and a springboard splash gets two for Juvy and a sunset Liger Bomb gets the same. Cue General Rection as Bill Clinton (just go with it) as a distraction for Major Gunns to come down (now with thong sticking out because Lita was doing it at the time) and get Juvy’s attention. The plan mostly works as Loco grabs a sitout reverse gordbuster (called a reverse powerslam by Hudson) for two. Loco’s tornado DDT retains the title a few seconds later.
Rating: C. This is one of Russo’s big problems summed up in one match. You had two talented guys who could put on a match that people wanted to see but instead here’s a WACKY idea of the two teams interfering with masks on in a story development that doesn’t mean a thing. Yeah Rection was dressed like Bill Clinton. How is that funny, interesting, noteworthy or ANYTHING besides something else to take the focus off the match? It’s a simple case of “Russo doesn’t get it”.
The Cat imitates Chris Tucker from Rush Hour as he tries to tell the Jung Dragons that it’s over. Jarrett comes in to ask where Hogan is because his fat viking woman is ready to sing. Total TV scene. Hogan isn’t here yet either and Jarrett is clearly wearing the replica title (notice the big black outline).
Hardcore Title: Big Vito vs. Norman Smiley/Ralphus
Vito is defending in this unannounced match with mystery challengers. Tony explains that the match is supposed to start in the back and then come to the ring. Those sound a lot like rules. Vito hammers away with the stick on Ralphus and then sends Norman into the barricade. They go backstage so now I guess they can fight back into the arena so the match can end in the ring. Ralphus gets in some trashcan shots to the head for what might have been his first offense in history.
Some trashcan lid shots (you have to mix it up) have no effect on Vito so it’s time for the plastic dinnerware to come into play. Norman is thrown into a service elevator, leaving Vito to beat Ralphus back to the ring. That means it’s table time but it’s broken before it’s even thrown in. Vito splashes him through it anyway and retains the title as Norman comes back, only to be a hardcore loser all over again.
Rating: D-. Well thank goodness this got pay per view time. Norman, one of the most popular acts in the company for a few months, is still right where he was before and the heatless Vito keeps the title even longer with no one to challenge him. Bad match here as you would expect, but keep this stuff on Thunder where it belongs if you just have to do it.
Goldberg arrives with Hall’s contract in his pocket.
Nash says he hasn’t been nice lately and tonight he’s getting his friend back.
We recap Daffney vs. Miss Hancock, which is actually one of the better stories they’re running at the moment. David Flair and Daffney were engaged but he cheated on her with Miss Hancock (who was his real life girlfriend at the time). Daffney had her head shaved earlier this week so tonight it’s a wedding gown match for no apparent reason other than to have Hancock in limited clothing.
Miss Hancock vs. Daffney
There’s a wedding cake at ringside and the announcers acknowledge that it’s going to be destroyed. David is here with Hancock and they kiss before the match to drive Daffney crazier. That earns Flair a low blow and we start fast. Hopefully it ends fast as well. Hancock does a handspring elbow as they’re fighting in slow motion. Daffney keeps flipping her for the upskirt shots but David prevents Hancock from going into the cake.
The referee gets hit low and pantsed (with Tony pointing out how fast Hancock can get a man’s pants off). David gets the same treatment and we get the face first fall onto the crotch. They go after Daffney’s hair but Crowbar makes the save. Crowbar takes his own pants off and gives David the Mind Bender (Tony has forgotten the name from four days ago) as the women have disappeared. David is about to get shaved so Hancock strips to save him and end the match. I’m sure this was in no way, shape or form inspired by Patterson and Brisco having an evening gown match last month.
Rating: F. I get the idea here and I’m not going to complain about Hancock in limited clothing, but this gets old in about ten seconds. After that it stops being fun and entertaining and you’re asking yourself what the heck am I watching. That happened WAY too often in WCW around this time and it becomes much more embarrassing than entertaining. This is the lowest common denominator and that’s rarely quality television.
Crowbar and the referee sit down to watch but it’s cake time instead.
The Dragons sneak up on Cat, though he’s tipped off by the Japanese music playing. Cat is worried that Hogan hasn’t arrived yet and thinks Ox Baker might be available.
The announcers talk about Hogan not being here as we clean up the ring from Russo’s latest fantasy fulfillment. The ring must be very dirty as they go over Hogan bring in Shaquille O’Neal back in 1994 and then the formation of the NWO. We see the mats being picked up as the crew pours bottles of water onto the ground and wipe it up. THEY CAN’T AFFORD A MOP???
Tag Team Titles: Perfect Event vs. Kronik
Perfect Event is defending, even though Brian Adams and a production guy pinned them on Thunder but now Adams has Clark back. Adams and Palumbo (Palumbi according to Tony) get things going and it’s Chuck quickly being sent to the floor. Stasiak is thrown on top of him as well, which Madden says is like throwing a Frisbee. Mark Madden has never thrown a Frisbee has he?
Now the champs have cake on their trunks because WCW can’t even destroy a cake properly. Clark beats Stasiak up and gives him a release Rock Bottom before bringing Adams back in. Tony wants to know if Kronik will be happy with a simple win. Does anyone even remember what their issue is at this point or how the champs got the titles in the first place? Better yet, does it matter? Palumbo low bridges Adams to the floor and gets in a chair shot to take over.
We hit a sleeper as the fans are behind Kronik. That’s not boring enough so it’s off to Stasiak for a sleeper of his own. Back up and they hit heads (allegedly), setting up the tag to Clark as everything breaks down. Palumbo DDTs his way out of the Meltdown and Stasiak clotheslines Clark off the apron. Clark gets double teamed back inside and we get a really awkward exchange where he looks at the champs as if to say “ok, it’s your spot now.”
Adams breaks up a cover off a double flapjack and F5’s Shawn, setting up High Times. There’s a rumble that sounds like a motorcycle but doesn’t lead anywhere. Probably fans leaving this boring show. Palumbo takes High Times as well and a powerbomb/top rope clothesline combination (better move than the double chokeslam) gives Kronik the belts back. There’s smoke around the ring for no apparent reason.
Rating: D. Not the worst match in the world here but still the same boring match the Perfect Event has been having for weeks now. At least Kronik is a more interesting team who can have a watchable power match. Perfect Event is just flat out boring and I’m glad they’ve dropped the belts, even though they only held them for a few weeks.
The Cat hears the Dragons’ music AGAIN when Jarrett comes in AGAIN, claiming that he’s bored. Jarrett promises to screw with the show and leaves, allowing the Dragons to appear and attack Cat. Scott has to explain the story to Madden AGAIN.
Booker T. vs. Positively Kanyon
Tony calls this the sixth match because the show has dulled his abilities to count. Booker headlocks him to start and scores with the spinning kick to the face. Some elbows and a dropkick put Kanyon down again and there goes Kanyon’s shirt. Booker finds the brick in the book though Kanyon didn’t see that it’s been removed.
Kanyon sends him out to the floor and a whip puts Booker into the barricade. That’s enough for the wrestling so Kanyon crushes Booker’s arm under the steps and baseball slides Booker’s ribs into the post. The apron superplex gets two and Kanyon wedges chair in the corner for later. Kanyon puts on a reverse Boston crab but is quickly pushed into a rollup for two.
That means it’s time for a book to the head for two more because there’s no brick. Naturally picking up a book or a book with a brick inside feels EXACTLY the same and Kanyon just didn’t notice. Booker pops up with the kicks for two each, followed by the Book End for another near fall. This brings out Jeff Jarrett with the guitar (he was bored remember) to knock Booker out, setting up a middle rope Kanyon Cutter for the pin.
Rating: C+. Match was fine until the TV ending. Kanyon’s offense really was different enough to make you pay attention and it was cool to see him win a big match, but assuming WCW knows what’s coming tonight, the ending here is questionable at best. Still though, best match on the show by about a mile so far.
Mike Awesome is hitting on the overweight viking chick when Pamela comes in to ask about Scott Steiner. Awesome promises a win and insults Pamela before leaving.
US Title: Mike Awesome vs. Scott Steiner
Steiner is defending and dives onto Awesome (who, like Steiner, is in black trunks with red lettering) but gets sent into the crowd for a dive over the barricade. Awesome gets in a trashcan shot but takes it back to ringside with Steiner in control. They get inside for the first time for a belly to belly superplex to give Scott the first near fall.
Steiner stays on the back but Awesome takes it right back to the floor for a chair shot to the ribs. A bell to the head means it’s time to look at a fan holding up a sign about Awesome’s mullet. More chair shots set up a slingshot splash for two and here’s the Cat for no apparent reason. Steiner fights back and loads up the Recliner but Cat reminds us that it’s illegal.
The distraction lets Awesome get two off an Alabama Slam, followed by the Awesome Splash for the same. There goes the referee so Cat comes in and superkicks Awesome by mistake. Steiner’s belly to belly sets up the Recliner so Cat strips him of the title and calls for the DQ. Scott really doesn’t seem to care and the announcers have no idea if Awesome is champion or not.
Rating: C-. So Awesome doesn’t seem to get the title (he wouldn’t), Steiner doesn’t care, and Cat is apparently only a heel when he’s dealing with Steiner. This is more wasting of the US Title because Steiner clearly doesn’t care about it after spending months barely acknowledging that he was champion at all. The title has been worthless for years now but this made it even worse.
Steiner beats Awesome up and celebrates anyway.
Vampiro vs. The Demon
This is in a graveyard (Or maybe a big graveyard set. Would you put it past WCW to rent one for something this big?) and you win by getting back to the arena first. No word on how far the graveyard is from the arena so this match might require a bus trip from Branson, Missouri. Assuming the graveyard is in the same city as the arena (would you really put it past WCW to have it be somewhere else?), there’s always the chance that the wrestlers will get lost on the streets of Daytona Beach. Vampiro dives out of a tree to attack Demon….and now we have no light.
A superkick puts Demon down and Vampiro, clearly on a microphone, tells Demon to join him. Asya kicks Vampiro in the back and they fight into an open grave for a bit. You can barely see anything here and Vampiro chases Asya off. Demon gets out of the grave and the match has become a footrace.
Vampiro throws him in the water and Asya is rocking back and forth. She gets dragged off again until Demon gets out of the water as Tony brings up the fact that they have no idea where the graveyard is. Demon finds Asya next to a coffin but Vampiro pops out and sprays mist in his face. Vampiro says join him or die but Demon says no, only to get hit in the head with a tombstone and knocked into the coffin. Vampiro leaves and we cut to an interview, so screw the rules for the “match”.
Rating: N/A. I’m not rating this because this had nothing to do with wrestling. This was a scene out of some weird horror movie that Russo probably saw back in 1993 and decided to recreate it on his show. I mean…….what is there to say about this? They were fighting in a graveyard, then in a pond, then one guy got knocked into a grave. I can’t believe I’m saying this but the evening gown match had WAY more value than this did. Total waste of time, much like everything else Vampiro does.
Shane Douglas promises to beat Buff Bagwell tonight.
You can win a sweepstakes and become Goldberg’s manager. I’ve heard worse ideas.
Shane Douglas vs. Buff Bagwell
Another feud where I don’t think most fans remember why they’re fighting in the first place, though Hudson does at least explain it. Buff starts a FRANCHISE SUCKS chant and is already doing more than most people on this show to get the fans to care. Often times it’s something as simple as telling them to chant something. The fans are made part of the show, which is more than you can say the majority of the wrestlers tonight have done.
The fight quickly heads outside with Shane being sent into the barricade but coming back with what was probably a low blow. The mats are peeled back but Shane can’t pull off a piledriver. Buff kicks him in the ribs, only to have Shane punch a chair into his face. They head inside for a crank on Bagwell’s still bad neck but here’s the returning Torrie Wilson to slap Shane. She’s going to turn on Bagwell in…..I’ll say two minutes or less.
Torrie stays on the apron as Bagwell makes his comeback before getting in to kick him low (didn’t even make it a minute). The Pittsburgh Plunge gives Shane two but Torrie breaks up the Blockbuster, allowing Shane to debut the Franchiser (a lame jawbreaker) for the pin, with tights of course because Shane is a heel.
Rating: D. The match was boring and the swerve was the most predictable in a LONG time (which is covering a lot in WCW terms) but Torrie looked better than usual (which is also covering a lot) and it’s always good to see Bagwell take a beating for some reason. Bad match but Torrie is a better valet than Tammy at this point anyway.
Shane and Torrie kiss some more.
Hogan has finally arrived.
Jarrett says he has allies tonight.
Quick recap of Jarrett and the fat viking women. It still makes no sense and goes WAY too far for the sake of a joke.
WCW World Title: Hulk Hogan vs. Jeff Jarrett
Hogan is challenging. There’s no Jarrett at first so here’s Vince Russo. Jarrett comes out and so does Hogan to make it look like we’re ready to go. Jeff is standing on the stage though and I have a bad feeling this isn’t ending well. The bell rings and Jeff lays down because SCREW YOU RUSSO. Hogan says this is why WCW is in the place it’s in and covers Jarrett for the pin and the title. We’ll be coming back to this later so I’ll go into it after the other stuff.
The announcers talk about how this couldn’t have been what was scripted. Those lines make my head hurt badly enough so I’ll skip the usual ranting about how stupid this is.
And now, Vampiro is back! So the match is now officially done, putting it at about thirty minutes. Vampiro says the dark circle is now complete and Dale Torborg is gone. Cue eight guys in Sting masks carrying a coffin. Someone who might be Sting (but clearly isn’t due to the hair length) jumps out and beats Vampiro with the bat before throwing him into the coffin. This would be another story that I never want to think about again.
Goldberg is trying really hard not to rip up the contract. This is about a week and a half after he ate the thing so this speech is kind of hard to buy.
Here’s Russo, who is booed out of the building. Not likely because of what his character did but because of the bait and switch he just booked. Russo talks about leaving three weeks ago but the fans rip into him before he can get anywhere. He didn’t know if he was going to come back because of all the politics backstage. Remember that he debuted in WCW roughly eight months ago and only returned three months earlier. Based on the way he talked, you would think he had been dealing with it for twenty years.
Russo came back for all of the boys in the locker room like Booker T., (given a military gimmick that wasn’t going anywhere), everyone in MIA (Given another lame military gimmick based around sex puns and Major Gunns taking off her top. Oh and Pops. Don’t forget Pops.), for the Filthy Animals (spinning their wheels for months) and for Jarrett (no explanation needed on that).
So he cares about them, just not enough to make them into anything important. None of the old guys like Hogan care about this place because he’s just a politician. Hogan wanted to play his creative control card tonight, meaning he gets to win the World Title. That’s the last time you’ll ever see Hogan in WCW (it truly was) but no one is going home disappointed tonight (oh I doubt that). Tonight, there’s going to be a new WCW World Title, which still belongs to Jarrett as far as Russo is concerned.
Russo says Jarrett is one of the only people who comes out here and works hard whether you love him or hate him (True. Jarrett gets a lot of flack but he’s one of the few main eventers who does seem to work hard every single week. He’s a lame World Champion, but undoubtedly a talented guy.).
Tonight, Jarrett is defending against someone who has been fighting for a spot in WCW “for fourteen years.” Booker has only been wrestling for eleven years at this point and debuted in WCW in 1993 so we can add math to the things that Russo is horrible at. Russo promises that Booker and Jeff will tear the house down tonight and leaves.
Where do you start with this? First of all, there have been a ton of explanations for what happened here but the most common that you’ll hear is most of it was a work but it turned into a semi-shoot. Hogan was allegedly scheduled to come back in roughly three months and side with Bischoff against Russo’s new champion, leading to a big match down the line. Not the most interesting idea in the world but I can go with that.
That brings us to Russo’s shoot, which was supposed to set up Hogan leaving before he came back. Allegedly Russo went too far and Hogan got ticked off, resulting in him sitting at home. Therefore, Hogan is gone and Russo gets to look like a hero after finding a way to get rid of Hogan and putting Booker in the title picture. There’s likely a wrong detail or two in there, but it’s the best I can figure out.
Here’s where the whole thing stops working for me (not on the story of it, but on why this is a bad idea): it’s all about Russo. What do people remember about this show? Russo’s shoot. Who is supposed to come out looking like a hero after weeks and months of being the star villain of the show? Russo. The World Champion coming into this show was Jeff Jarrett and he looks like the biggest afterthought in history as he was mentioned in the same breath as the Misfits in Action during that speech.
Yeah in all this chaos, Vince Russo is the one that comes off looking good. No matter what happens in this company, you can count on Russo being the star because he builds the whole thing around him. Whether it’s hanging on in the Figure Four for over a minute and completely defeating Ric Flair or getting rid of the horrible Hulk Hogan here, Russo is the big star in the whole thing and it’s not going to help any of the problems.
Another reason it won’t: as usual, NONE OF THIS MADE SENSE TO THE FANS! Common questions you probably heard asked in the crowd during and immediately after this speech: “What’s creative control?” “Backstage politics?” “What is he talking about?” This story is still confusing fifteen years and a lot of details later. For the live fans, they just saw the World Champion get pinned in an angle that they saw nine months earlier at Halloween Havoc 1999.
Big angle or not, it’s a bait and switch. Booker T. getting the shot is cool, but that’s not what the fans paid to see. There are probably a lot of people (of the six thousand in the arena) who wanted to see Hogan in the ring and they got ripped off. I know it’s probably better long term (or at least it would have been two or three years ago) but if Hogan was advertised, they should have had him do the match somehow. Instead it’s yet another case where people are going to say WCW is making this up as it goes and the stories make no sense while changing the channel to see what Rock and HHH are doing this week.
Overall, it’s another bad idea in a long list of them from Russo. As usual, it’s a big angle over a big match and the old guys and/or Russo are the ones who look good at the end of the day. The fans didn’t want to see whatever insane angle they had going here because that’s not what they signed up for. Maybe this works as a standalone angle at a different time, but WCW had lost any and all credibility at this point and another big shoot angle was the worst thing they could have done here. I’m sure we’ll hear more about it on Nitro, but this really doesn’t hold up on its own.
The announcers are stunned.
We recap Goldberg vs. Kevin Nash which is over Scott Hall’s contract. Goldberg ate it at one point (which is shown in the recap video) but had it again the next week. It made as much sense as anything else at this point. Goldberg hates the Outsiders for whatever reason and is trying to kill them once and for all.
Scott Steiner says he’s too busy to have Nash’s back. Just turn him now.
Kevin Nash vs. Goldberg
The contract is all crumpled up after being perfect the last time we saw it. Goldberg slugs him down in the corner and gets two off a suplex. A superkick gets the same but Nash comes back with a chokeslam for two of his own. Cue Steiner and Midajah to play cheerleader. Nash stops a charge with a boot and sidesteps the spear, meaning it’s time to take down the straps. Steiner comes in to turn on Nash, allowing the spear and Jackhammer to put Nash away in less than six minutes.
Rating: D-. Another lame match after way too much buildup because Nash can’t deliver on the checks his mouth writes. Steiner turning on Nash was obvious from the second that he came to the ring because in Russo’s world, you expect the swerve instead of being surprised by it. They couldn’t do the epic style a year and a half ago and no one thought they could here either.
Goldberg tears the contract up as Steiner puts Nash in the Recliner.
Booker says he’s ready.
The announcers preview the main event with Madden saying Jarrett is the kind of guy that Hogan held down. Yeah the four time World Champion was held down.
WCW World Title: Booker T. vs. Jeff Jarrett
Jarrett is defending, though I guess you could say the title is vacant as well. I know Russo’s world is screwy but a champion getting pinned in a title match means the title changed in some way to me. Jarrett’s music cuts off Buffer’s big introduction for Booker. The title is bent at the top again and it’s clearly the original belt. They fight over a headlock to start and there are a lot of empty seats for this one.
Booker sends him out to the floor as the announcers talk about the formation of the New Blood leading to this. Back in and a side kick has Jeff in more trouble and they fight into the crowd to kill some time. Jarrett gets sent into a wall but comes back with a chair shot at ringside. Jeff piledrives him onto the table, which doesn’t break. Scott: “They finally got the construction right on this thing!”
We hit the chinlock to slow things down before Jeff starts in on the leg. The Figure Four has Booker in trouble but he turns it over without too much trouble. A cannonball misses Booker’s leg and there are even more empty seats now. Booker’s spinebuster gets two but he misses the side kick and hits the ropes. The referee goes down and Jeff misses a belt shot, allowing Booker to nail Jeff for a close two. Some hero.
Jeff puts a chair in the corner but gets sent into it head first for two more. Jeff beats up the referee and gives him a Stroke (without ever leaving his feet) but the top rope guitar shot is caught in the Book End to give Booker the pin and the title to a legitimately strong reaction. Well from the people still here.
Rating: B. Well they didn’t tear the house down but they did have a good match. Booker winning the title is about a year too late but it’s cool to see someone young (35) get the title for a change. It certainly can’t save the show because it’s taking a big backseat to the big story. Booker is a better option that Jeff as he’s far more likeable, but it’s just too late to do much good.
Booker is overcome with emotion to end the show.
Overall Rating: D. As good as it is to get rid of Hogan and as good as it is to have Booker as champion, the long and boring Perfect Event match, the wedding gown match, the stuff in the graveyard, all Russo all the time and all the interference really drag this down. It’s certainly not the worst show from a quality perspective but for every problem Russo fixes, he creates ten more. That’s the thing dragging the show down at this point and Booker as champion is nowhere near enough to fix that.
If you need to sum up the problem here, it’s the shoot being what people remember most from this show. In other words, they remember Russo and the shenanigans instead of Booker taking the title in a good match (longest of the night as well, clocking in at 13:40). It’s always about the drama and insanity in WCW and that can’t work long term. It didn’t in the WWF and it’s not going to here, but it’s all Russo knew so that’s all we’re going to get. Well that and Russo, because the show is still all about him.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 60,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 6,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books.
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