A Collective Review of WCW Bash at the Beach 1997 (Hogan/Rodman vs. Luger/Giant) by Lance Augustine

Welcome back to the TJRwrestling retro WCW reviews where we are breaking down every WCW Pay-Per-View during the “Monday Night War” era. We just covered The Great American Bash 1997 and that show had its ups and downs. The standout, which was nice for a change, was the main event which was a Falls Count Anywhere match putting “Macho Man” Randy Savage against Diamond Dallas Page. It was wild for sure. This will be the second Bash at the Beach we are covering with last year being the show where Hogan turned Heel and joined The NWO. You can read my complete thoughts on those shows, and matches, as well as all of the other shows we have covered here. Let’s continue with WCW’s biggest party of the summer!

WCW Bash at the Beach
July 13th, 1997
Daytona Beach, Florida

They start with the show with a package talking about the events leading up to the main event tonight featuring Lex Luger and The Giant vs. “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan and Dennis Rodman.

We are joined in the arena by Tony Schiavone and he is joined once again by “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. They hype up the main event as well as speculate who could be the partner for Diamond Dallas Page tonight. It’s time for the first match of the night.

Wrath and Mortis (w/James Vandenberg) vs. Glacier and Ernest “The Cat” Miller

Right off the bat, I am not excited seeing these guys wrestle for the 4th show in a row. At least it’s a little different though being in a tag team format.

All four men start going at it right when the bell sounds. Glacier and Miller send them to the outside as they stand tall in the ring. Mortis gets back in and slaps Glacier in the face. Glacier takes him down and slams his head on the top buckle. Wrath comes in to take Glacier out, but is taken out by Miller quickly and they remain on the offensive. Miller tags in and takes Mortis down with a kick to the head and covers him for a two count. Wrath makes a blind tag and he comes in and he beats on Miller in the corner. Miller slides under a clothesline attempt and he kicks Wrath in the head. He hits another kick, but is taken out with a Tilt-O-Whirl Backbreaker. Wrath comes off the second rope with an elbow, but Miller rolls out of the way. Glacier comes in and they double team him with a dropkick. Glacier tags back in, but is taken out with a Bicycle Kick. Mortis brings him to the outside and slams him into the guardrail and Wrath is out right after with a rolling senton. Wrath grabs a chair and puts Glacier’s head against the post and Mortis kicks the chair. They roll Glacier back in the ring as Mortis tags back in and continues to work him over. Glacier has a second wind and kicks Mortis in the head, but he is quickly taken out with a clothesline by Wrath as he turns around. Mortis covers him for a two count. Wrath tags back in and they hit a double team powerbomb on him. Glacier slowly gets back his feet, but he kicked in the head again. Wrath continues to stretch him as Mortis tags in and comes off the second rope with a leg drop. Mortis slams Glacier down to the mat, but misses a Moonsault off the top. Both men slowly crawl to their side, but Wrath knocks Miller off the apron before he can get there. Miller comes in anyway and Miller kicks both men down to the mat. All four men are in at this point with Glacier and Miller being on the offensive. Wrath and Miller spill to the outside as Glacier hits Mortis with a DDT inside of it. He covers Mortis, but Vandenberg puts Mortis’ foot on the rope and wraps a chain on it. Glacier grabs Vandenberg and kicks him off the apron. Mortis waits and kicks Glacier with the loaded foot and he picks up the win for his team after 9:47. This was Glacier’s first official loss in the company.

Winner(s): Wrath and Mortis
Match Rating: 2.5/5 Stars

Collective Thoughts: They really surprised me in this match. I went into it with tempered expectations, but this was definitely the best match these guys had with each other up to this point. The crowd was into it, and both teams worked well together. Miller was on fire for most of it, and this was before the character became goofy. He was a nice addition to the match and I thought it was a smart way to start the show.

DDP is backstage with the online crew and some guys with the screen name “I Love Cows” writes in and asks DDP who his partner for tonight is going to be. Page says that he is going to tell him anything as they go back to the ring for the next match.

WCW Cruiserweight Title Match
Chris Jericho (c) vs. Ultimate Dragon

Jericho beat Syxx in late June to capture the title.

They lock up to start the match with Jericho ducking behind with a waist lock. Dragon fights out and takes Jericho down to the mat, but it doesn’t last and Jericho is back to his feet. Both men exchange some action before having a staredown as they get back to their feet. Both men hit Monkey Flips, but the other lands on their feet. They exchange chops and each goes for dropkicks and we have a stalemate. Jericho works him into the corner and hits a chop, but Dragon comes back with some acrobatics and hits Jericho with a dropkick. Dragon gets a few kicks to the back and works on the head and neck area of Jericho. Dragon hits a chop and tries a Hurricanrana, but Jericho counters it into a powerbomb. Jericho goes for the cover, but only gets a two count. He picks Dragon up for a delayed vertical suplex and scores another near fall. Jericho slams Dragon down and then hits a backbreaker for good measure. He throws Dragon into the ropes, who ducks two clotheslines, and hits Jericho with an elbow on the way back. Dragon leaps over Jericho in the corner, but Jericho stays on top with a Moonsault of his own. He hits Dragon with a Powerbomb and scores a two count. He puts Dragon up on the ropes and tries to hit s Superplex, but Dragon fights him off and sends Jericho to the mat. Dragon is on the outside and Jericho comes out after him with a splash. Jericho rolls Dragon back in the ring and stomps down on the head. He climbs up to the second rope and comes off with an elbow, but Dragon gets the feet up. He puts Jericho on the top rope and tries a Frankensteiner, but Jericho pushes him to the outside. Jericho comes out with another splash, but Dragon is there and hits a dropkick on his way down. That was a cool spot. Dragon pulls him to the other side of the ring, but Jericho hits a suplex on the floor before he can. Dragon gets on the apron and is met by Jericho, but he sends him to the outside. Jericho walks towards the ring and Dragon comes flying down with an Asai Moonsault. Jericho is on the floor all the way to nine before sprinting back into the ring. Dragon takes him down again and goes for the cover, but Jericho gets a boot on the rope. Both men exchange some small packages, but no one can pick up the win. Dragon sends Jericho to the outside and he comes flying out after him. They exchange chops on the floor before Dragon hits an Enziguri. Dragon tries to suplex him back in, but Jericho fights it off and hits a Lionsault for a two count. Scoop slam by Jericho and he tries the Moonsault again, but Dragon hits a dropkick to the midsection. Dragon puts on the Dragon Sleeper and hits a Lariat as Jericho is on his way back up. Dragon with a Moonsault that Jericho escapes from and he flips Dragon into a pinning combination and retains the title after 12:55.

Winner and STILL WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Chris Jericho
Match Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Collective Thoughts: This was fun, although it felt short. I know wrestling fans sometimes get a little bored if matches don’t keep their attention, but I think this match would have been a touch better if it were longer. That’s not to say what they didn’t wasn’t really good. They seemed to have an answer for everything the other guy was doing and the chemistry just made this match jump off the screen. They didn’t miss a beat, and I was a fan of the way the match ended. Normally, rollups can be a bit weird, but here, it caught Dragon by surprise and felt like a solid way to end it.

After the match, Jericho and Dragon shake hands in the ring before they go into the replays.

Mene Gene is back and says there are some people in the building that shouldn’t be there. The only way to find out who it is is to call the hotline. Gene walks down to ringside and he walks over to Raven. Stevie Richards is there with him as well. Gene asks Raven about his intentions in WCW and Raven says that trust, hate, love, and faith are things he doesn’t understand. He continues with a poem of rhyming words before speculating that he may be the partner for DDP tonight. Raven ends by saying “Quote the Raven, Nevermore”. Richards starts talking to Gene and lets it slip about a big announcement tomorrow on Nitro. Before he can say anything else, he is knocked out by Raven.

Masahiro Chono and The Great Muta vs. The Steiner Brothers (Rick and Scott Steiner)

Chono and Muta are representing the Japanese version of the NWO.

Chono and Muta start the action off by taking out both Steiners and throwing them to the outside. They come back in the ring with a vengeance and both hit flying clotheslines from the top and the roles are now reversed. Chono and Muta regroup on the outside as the Steiners get the crowd fired up. Muta and Scott are the first two in the ring when the match begins. They lock up and Scott gets a headlock and throws Muta into the ropes to hit a clothesline. He throws Muta into the opposite corner and charges in, but Muta gets the feet up. He kicks Scott in the head and hits some chops as he is up against the ropes. Muta hits a back kick after some back and forth action and it knocks Scott down to the mat. He continues to hammer on Scott, but Scott gets back to his feet hits a Double Underhook Powerbomb. Scott presses Muta over his head and sends him flying to the outside. Muta slowly gets back in the ring as Scott tags in Rick. Muta and Chono both go back to the outside to regroup. Muta rolls back in and tags Chono into the match for the first time. Rick grabs a headlock and takes Chono down with a shoulder block. Chono gets a thumb to the eyes and hits a Yakuza kick that takes Rick down to the mat. Chono dares Rick to have a test of strength and ends up kicks Rick in the midsection. He comes off the ropes, but Rick catches him in a Powerslam and Chono slides out of the ring. Muta and Scott tag back in the match and Scott knocks Chono off the apron before picking Muta up to the top rope. He tries a Belly to Belly Suplex off the top, but Chono picks him up on his shoulders and slams him down. Muta hits a cartwheel elbow in the corner and follows it up with a bulldog. Muta hits a quick elbow and tags Chono back in the match. Chono takes Scott down with a kick to the head and they set him up for a high/low kick with Chono on the top rope. Scott has other plans though and takes Muta out before hitting a top rope Belly to Belly on Chono. Scott tags in Rick and he clears the ring of both men with suplexes. Rick climbs up top and hits Muta with a bulldog and covers him, but Chono breaks it up. Rick hits Chono with a suplex, and Scott hits Muta with one as well. Scott climbs up top, but Chono hits him from behind which allows Muta to hit a Frankensteiner on Scott. Rick slides back in the ring and starts to kick Muta, but he catches his leg and takes him down. Muta goes for an elbow, but Rick ducks and hits a suplex. Scott hits Muta with a Frankensteiner and Rick covers him, but Chono pulls the referee away. Rick picks Muta up on his shoulders and they hit a Steiner DDT to pick up the win after 11:37.

Winner(s): The Steiner Brothers
Match Rating: 3/5 Stars

Collective Thoughts: That was a fun match all around. The Steiners were very athletic for their size and both teams had complementary styles. This was just four veterans going out there, knowing what they had to do, and executing. It wasn’t a classic by any stretch, but comparable to some of the other tag team matches we have seen throughout the year, this is a standout. The Steiners hitting that tandem DDT to end it was a cool looking spot. They get a shot at The Outsiders next for the WCW Tag Team titles.

Juventud Guerrera, Hector Garza, and Lizmark Jr. vs. La Parka, Psychosis, and Villano IV (w/Sonny Onoo)

Psychosis and Lizmark square off first for their respective sides. Psychosis gets on a headlock, but Lizmark fights out and takes him down to the mat. Both men start shoving each other and Garza comes into the ring to hit a double team move. It sends Psychosis to the outside and Villano comes in and I guess is the legal man now along with Garza. Villano takes him down with a kick to the head, but Garza shows the athleticism with a series of arm drags and a Tilt-O-Whirl Backbreaker. La Parka is in and so is Guerrera at this point. Guerrera goes for a Hurricanrana, but it’s a little sloppy but does the job. They fly to the outside where Onoo gets a kick on Guerrera, but also kicks La Parka by accident. Lizmark and Psychosis are back in the ring and he ducks under a Psychosis dropkick. Villano, La Parka, and Psychosis have a disagreement with allows the other team to grab the advantage. All three men go to the outside and Guerrera, Garza, and Lizmark come out after them with splashes. Psychosis hits a dropkick on Guerrera as they come back in the ring and puts him up on the top. Psychosis hits a cool looking Sunset Flip that sends Guerrera crashing to the mat. That move was way cool. Psychosis picks him up and hits some chops before throwing him into his corner and having his team gets some shots in. All six men are in the match at this point and everyone is hitting some high flying moves. Garza and Lizmark almost hit each other, but they send Psychosis and Villano into each other. La Parka hits a backbreaker on Guerrera and they stomp away on him until Psychosis hits them with a dropkick accidentally. Garza is down on the mat and Psychosis comes off the top with a splash and it sets off a series of events that ends with everyone missing splashes. Villano goes up top with Guerrera right behind him and the rest follow suit until we get a 6-man sequence. Lizmark and Villano are the two left in the ring, but Lizmark sends him out with a dropkick. La Parka hits a splash on Lizamark before Guerrera takes him out with a splash. This happens until all 6-men have jumped on each other. Garza and Psychosis hits each other with clotheslines in the ring before Villano V comes down to assist and attacks Garza. He tries to pin him, but Garza fights off both men. Villano takes Psychosis over the ropes with a clothesline and he is soon taken out and pinned after a Missle Dropkick from Garza. The match went 10:08.

Winner(s): Juventud Guerrera, Hector Garza, and Lizmark Jr.
Match Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Collective Thoughts: This match was equal parts awesome, and equal parts a mess. They went by Luchador Tag Team rules, which explains what the hell goes on in AEW because I had no idea who the legal man was throughout the match. It was energetic and they hit some cool spots, but damn if they didn’t try and smash a 15 minutes match into 10 minutes. Guys were flying all over the place and they did the famous “let’s all stand on the outside and wait for the next guy to land on us” a lot in this one. I am both a fan and a detractor of these kinds of matches, but for the time, it was a cool spectacle at least. Ole Meltzer gave this 4.25/5 stars which I thought was a touch high, but still a solid outing for all here.

Career Match
Kevin Sullivan (w/Jimmy Hart and Jacquelyn) vs. Chris Benoit

Obviously, the loser of this match is done with WCW. These two have been feuding for what feels like a decade at this point.

They start the match going at each other right from the jump. Both men exchange blows in the ring before Sullivan suplexes Benoit to the outside. He throws Benoit into the guardrail that he pulls out to be in the middle of the aisleway. Benoit is distracted by Jacquelyn which allows Sullivan to take advantage. It is short-lived, though, and the three of them have like a brawl on the outside. Sullivan takes Benoit up the ramp and throws him into the props at the entranceway. He continues beating on Benoit with some beach chairs and such. Benoit battles back and they end up knocking down the entire set. They continue brawling and Benoit hits Sullivan with something in the head. Jacquelyn comes from behind and hits Benoit with a beach chair which allows Sullivan to get back on the offensive. They go back and forth some more in front of the people before slowly making their way back to the ring. Sullivan hits a Piledriver on the floor and follows it up with a double stomp. Sullivan hits him with a cookie sheet, but Benoit comes back and throws Sullivan into the ring. Benoit stomps away on him and hits a clothesline. He punches Sullivan in the head, but is soon dumped to the outside while Sullivan was falling away. Jimmy Hart gets some leather in before Sullivan comes out and slams the head of Benoit on the stairs. Sullivan beats on Benoit with some stiff shots and crotches him on the guardrail. Sullivan knocks him off with a clothesline and he stomps on the groin area. Benoit starts to fight back and throws Sullivan into a case at ringside. He gets him in the ring and stomps on the head. Benoit with a snap suplex and makes the cover, but Sullivan gets his foot on the ropes. Sullivan starts biting Benoit to escape, but he just starts biting him back. Benoit hits a chop in the corner and gets The Crippler Crossface locked in. The referee is right there and Sullivan’s arm almost drops for three, but he has some fight left. Benoit keeps it locked in as Hart and Jacquelyn are losing their minds on the outside. Sullivan crawls over to the ropes and breaks the hold when he gets his foot on the bottom one. Benoit pulls him back out to the middle and locks in the Crossface again. Sullivan gets to the ropes again and Benoit continues to beat him down. He kicks Sullivan down to the mat, but he keeps coming back. They exchange blows to the head before Sullivan takes advantage and gets Benoit in the Tree of Woe. He runs into him with a knee to the head and comes for a third time. Hart distracts the referee as Jacquelyn brings a wooden chair into the ring. She fakes out hitting Benoit, but she wipes Sullivan out with it instead. Benoit climbs up top and hits the Diving Headbutt to pick up the win after

Winner: Chris Benoit
Match Rating: 3.25/5 Stars

Collective Thoughts: That match was an absolute slugfest. We should all be used to the way these two work by now, but damn a lot of these spots were something. They took the fight to the outside of the ring, knocked down the set, and Sullivan got wiped out with a wooden chair. The betrayal of Jacquelyn wasn’t shocking because they were even bickering to the ring. This match actually did mark the end of Sullivan’s in-ring career in WCW, and he would go on to focus on the booking from here on out. This was a solid outing for both men with a lot of fierce action.

After the match, Jimmy Hart can’t believe what just happened. He starts blaming Sullivan for letting the team down as they walk to the back.

WCW United States Title Match
Jeff Jarrett (c) vs. Steve “Mongo” McMichael (w/Queen Debra)

This feud has been brewing for months and was sent over the edge when Jarrett cost McMichael his match against Kevin Greene (RIP) last month.

McMichael grabs the US Title from the hands of Jarrett and poses with it for the fans. Jarrett does the same to a little bit of a different reaction. The bell rings and they lock up with Jarrett taking McMichael down with a wrist lock. He quickly gets back to his feet and tries to shoot on Jarrett, but he is too quick. Jarrett comes off the ropes and McMichael hits a Bossman Slam and takes his left out with a chop block. Jarrett rolls out of the ring to regroup and comes back in only to be taken out with a high knee and sent to the outside again. There is this fan in the front that has been taking mad trash all night and has actually gotten reactions from the wrestlers, so good on him. McMichael comes to the outside, but Jarrett hits him and slams his head into the stairs. McMichael isn’t out long and takes back the advantage with a chop. He slams Jarrett into the stairs and starts choking him with the cables at ringside. He puts Jarrett on the apron and comes down elbow first on the throat. McMichael ducks under a clothesline and presses Jarrett over his head. McMichael hits a power slam and scores a near fall. He throws Jarrett into the corner, but misses a knee lift. Jarrett gets in a three-point stance and takes out the wheels of McMichael. A calling card of ole Mongo. Jarrett signals and locks in The Figure Four, but Debra gets up on the apron to distract the referee. Jarrett grabs the briefcase from her hand and hits McMichael with it as she is still bickering with the referee. He covers McMichael to pick up the win after 6:56.

Winner and STILL WCW United States Champion: Jeff Jarrett
Match Rating: 1.75/5 Stars

Collective Thoughts: So, this match was fine, but was also very sloppy. Jarrett was the veteran in the match and while I don’t think either of them did a terrible job, it wasn’t a classic by any stretch. This was one of those classic wrestling storylines where the matches don’t matter much and are just used to further a story. Debra costing McMichael a match again seems to happen too often and the writing was on the wall for her working with Jarrett.

After the match, it turns out Debra was working with Jarrett the whole time and they hug at ringside.

Gene is back and is all decked out with Leis around his neck. Gene says that he is appalled by what just went down and he talks about the main event for the night. He mentions some inside information that you can only hear about from the hotline. Gene then throws to a commercial of WCW Road Wild 1997. I mentioned this before, but I am actually going to cover the main event of Nitro the week before that show because it is one of my favorite endings to a wrestling show ever.

We get a black and white promo from Rodman and Hogan. He says they are going to take over Daytona Beach and that Luger and The Giant don’t stand a chance. He tells Rodman that he is the man and Rodman says they have to accept the fact that they are going to be around forever. Hogan says his favorite thing about Rodman is that he isn’t afraid of anyone. Rodman says the bigger they are, the harder they fall. He adds that tonight he will make The Giant fall. Hogan kisses his ass a little bit more before ending the promo with an “NWO 4 Lyfe” before they go back to the ring.

Scott Hall and “Macho Man” Randy Savage (w/Miss Elizabeth) vs. Diamond Dallas Page and Curt Hennig (w/Kimberly)

Curt Hennig is the mystery partner after a lot of speculation of who it could be.

Page and Savage start the match, which isn’t surprising with their history. Page starts off with some fire and knocks Savage down to the mat. He hits a few elbows in the corner and sends Savage to the outside. Savage slides back in the ring and spits in the face of Page before tagging Hall into the match. Page tags in Hennig and he has a standoff with Hall. Hall throws the toothpick, but Hennig just spits his gum into his face. They stand face to face in the corner and start shoving each other. Hall hits an elbow to the head and Hennig slaps him. Savage comes in which brings in Page and we have all four men in the ring for a moment. It clears out and Hennig hits Hall with a high knee lift. He ducks under a clothesline and hits an atomic drop. Hennig comes off the ropes and hits another clothesline and snaps his neck old school style. Page is back in and he slams Hall down with a scoop slam. Page hits a flapjack on Hall and knocks Savage off the apron. Hall goes to the corner and takes Page out with a clothesline. Savage hits a clothesline for good measure before he tags Savage back in the match. He comes in off the top with a double ax handle. Hall tags back in and they start to isolate Page to their corner. Hall starts sitting on Page on the ropes and Savage hits him as well. Hall slaps Page as he gets up and he takes him back down with a shot to the back. Page comes back with a punch of his own, but he is just thrown to the outside before he can mount any solid offense. Savage sends Page into the stairs before rolling him back in the ring. Hall takes him down again and covers him for two before tagging Savage back in. Page starts to fight back and hits Savage with an atomic drop. Savage sends Page to the outside of the ring and that brings in Hennig. He comes in and starts trading blows with Savage before he is thrown to the outside again. Page is regrouping by the apron and Hennig hits him in the back from behind. Hennig walks to the back after rolling Page back in the ring. Hall hits an Outsiders Edge and Savage comes off with The Flying Elbow. Savage covers Page to win the match after 9:35.

Winner(s): Scott Hall and Randy Savage
Match Rating: 2/5 Stars

Collective Thoughts: It’s the dreaded heel turn to join the NWO! Page fought valiantly, but came up short after it seemed to be 3 on 1 towards the end. Anytime you get guys of this caliber in a match together you know you are going to get quality work and this was no different. Page had to be one of the most over guys in the company at this point, second only to Sting it seems. Page would go on to be one of the top stars in the coming year or so, but his ascension can be seen here. I also think The Outsiders Edge might be one of my favorite finishers of all time.

“Rowdy” Roddy Piper vs. “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair

This is the match that we all knew was coming after their run-in with each other last month.

They lock up to get the party started and Piper takes him down with a shoulder block. He beats on Flair with some shots to the head and it forces Flair to the outside to regroup. Flair gets back in and both men exchange some stiff chops before Piper works him into the corner and hits the ten punches. He throws Flair into the corner and hits takes the classic Flair bump and Piper knocks him down with a clothesline. Flair rakes the eyes as Piper comes out after him, but it doesn’t last long and he is taken out with a back body drop. He continues chopping Flair against the apron and as they get back in the ring, he rakes the eyes. The referee tells Piper to lighten up and that allows Flair to take his knee out from behind. Flair comes off the ropes and hits another shot to the knee. He punches and chops Piper as he falls down to his knees. Flair and the referee get into a shoving match before going back after Piper. Piper fights back, but Flair takes him down to the mat again. Flair puts him in The Figure Four Leglock and they are in the middle of the ring. Flair tries to slap him, but it just fires Piper up. He rolls it over and it reverses the pressure of the hold. They get out and get back to their feet where Piper hits a Swinging Neckbreaker. They continue exchanging blows before Flair hits the ultimate one, a low blow. Flair slows walks Piper to the corner and hits some punches to the head. Flair hits a chop to the chest which makes Piper wake up and start fighting back. Piper hits a series of shots to the head and stomps down on the lower region of Flair. He sends Flair flying across the ring before sending him to the outside with a clothesline. Piper follows him out and chops him against the guardrail before Flair stops him in his track with an eye rake. Piper sends him into the ropes and slaps on The Sleeper Hold, but Flair drops to his ass and breaks the hold. Flair covers him and gets multiple near falls. Flair climbs up top, but surprise surprise, Piper throws him off. Piper locks Flair in the Figure Four and he starts sliding towards the ropes. Flair puts both shoulders on the mat and is almost counted down. Flair finally gets to the ropes which causes Piper to break the hold. Flair grabs something from his trunks and tries to hit Piper with it, but Piper grabs it and hits Flair with it instead. Steve McMichael and Chris Benoit come down to the ring to assist and Benoit inadvertently hits Flair with a Diving Headbutt as McMichael is distracting the referee. Benoit distracted the referee himself which lets McMichael sneak in and hit Piper with a Tombstone Piledriver. Flair covers him, but Piper kicks out! Great near fall. Piper puts Flair in The Sleeper in the ring as the members of the Horseman walk to the back as they thought the match was over. Flair can’t answer the bell and the match is over after 13:26. The crowd went nuts when it ended.

Winner: “Rowdy” Roddy Piper
Match Rating: 3/5 Stars

Collective Thoughts: Full disclosure, I don’t have an attachment to guys like this like a lot of my contemporaries do. With that being said, I know they are both icons in the sport. They went out there and had the best match two guys at their age could. It had all the classic spots that Piper and Flair were known for and it was fun at least. The Horsemen coming down at the end to help Flair out is nothing new, but Piper kicking out of a Tombstone Piledriver was a cool spot. Piper using The Sleeper Hold as a finisher is so old school and today would be laughed at for being a finish. Either way, they went out and worked hard, and while they are a little before my time, I enjoyed this for the most part.

“Hollywood” Hulk Hogan and “The Worm” Dennis Rodman (w/ Randy Savage) vs. Lex Luger and The Giant

I always loved Rodman as a kid on those excellent Chicago Bulls teams in the ’90s. WCW knew how to get people from the mainstream to come in often so they have to be recognized for that at least.

Luger and Hogan, who will be squaring off for the title soon, start the match off. Luger gets an armbar on and works Hogan into the ropes. Hogan challenges Luger and The Giant while he prances around the ring. They lock up again and Luger shoves him into the corner and shows off the power. They lock up a third time and this time, Hogan gets a headlock on. He comes off the ropes and takes Luger down with a shoulder block. Luger fights back with one of this own and grinds it in before coming off the ropes with a shoulder block. Hogan calls for a test of strength, but kicks Luger before they lock up. Hogan throws him into the corner and comes in with a clothesline. He stomps away on Luger and slams him down before missing an elbow drop. Luger slams Hogan down and tries to capitalize but he hurries over to his corner and tags in Rodman. He comes in and teases locking up with Luger, but quickly slides back to his corner. They do lock up and Rodman hits arm drag that takes Luger down to the mat. They circle each other slowly again and lock up only this time Luger hits him with an arm drag. Luger takes out both members of the team and Hogan signals for someone to come from the back. No one comes out and Rodman slowly gets back in the ring and locks up with luger again. Luger puts him in a headlock, but Rodman fights out and shows some impressive athleticism leapfrogging over him and hitting a clothesline. They do the spot again but Luger hits the clothesline this time. Hogan tags back in the match and stands face to face with Luger. Luger signals that he is going to tag in The Giant and does just that. He walks up to Hogan who hits him with some shots and sends him headfirst into the corner. Hogan chops on the chest, but The Giant fights out and hits some of his own. Hogan takes back the advantage and hits The Giant with a clothesline in the corner. The Giant powers up and it sends Hogan to the outside to regroup.

Hogan slides back in the ring and they have a test of strength before he gets a thumb to the eye. Hogan punches him in the head, but it’s short lives and The Giant hits an atomic drop. Hogan is over in his corner and he tags Rodman back in the match. They lock up and Rodman leapfrogs over The Giant and tries it a second time, but he is caught and slammed down. The Giant picks Rodman up by the neck, but Hogan kicks his knees out from under him. He chokes The Giant on the second rope and slaps him in the back of the head. Hogan slams The Giant’s head into the boot of Rodman and they hit a double team clothesline. Rodman and Hogan exchange tags and continue working on the big man. Hogan throws him into the ropes and hits the big boot, but it doesn’t knock him down. Rodman comes in to assist and they finally get The Giant over. Both men cover him, but The Giant powers out at two. Luger comes in cleaning house and knocks everyone out of the ring. Rodman hits him from behind which allows Hogan to hit him in the head and knock Luger to the mat. Hogan continues working on Luger and as he falls into the ropes. Hogan slams him down and hits the leg drop, but Luger kicks out. Hogan with a headbutt and stomps on Luger in the corner some more. Rodman tags back in and continues pounding on Luger in the corner. Rodman chokes him with his boot to the throat. He throws Luger into the corner shoulder first and he crawls over to make the tag to The Giant, but the referee’s back was turned. The Giant beats them both up anyway as Sting makes his way down to the ring. The Giant tries to hit Rodman with a Chokeslam, but Sting hits him from behind with a baseball bat. He points at Hogan before leaving the ring While Hogan and Rodman double team Luger. Hogan hits Rodman with a clothesline by accident which allows Luger to put Hogan in the Torture Rack and pick up the win after 22:19.

Winner(s): The Giant and Lex Luger
Match Rating: 2/5 Stars

Collective Thoughts: For a 20+ minute match, there wasn’t a lot that went on here work-wise. I do have a couple of closing thoughts though. Rodman joining up with The NWO was the start of heels being “cool”. Don’t believe me? Watch the crowd every time Rodman hits an offensive move. I understand he is not from this world so fans might look at him differently, but he is being portrayed as a heel. Next, Luger was so over with this crowd that I misspoke about Page because Luger is the most over right now in the company. Everything he did the crowd was so into. Now, getting into this Sting thing. That was clearly not Sting, not to spoil anything for anyone, but this would be played up for the next couple of months. The mask he had on didn’t do him any favors for the illusion of it being the actual Sting. Overall the match was fine, but the crowd reaction to everything made the match. This was a good way to build up the program between Luger and Hogan and their showdown which I will be looking into next.

After the match, Luger racks everyone in sight including Savage at ringside. Hogan, Rodman, and Savage cower up the aisleway as the show goes off the air.

Overall Show Grade: 7 out of 10

This show was above average by WCW standards and I think it was boosted by how good the crowd was at this show. Whenever WCW hit certain venues in certain towns it always had a different atmosphere. There were some throwaway points on the show, but for the most part, it was very solid all around. You had pretty much everything between The Cruiserweights, quality tag team matches, and main event storylines that were furthered by the end of the night. My biggest complaint would probably be that I don’t ever want to see Glacier and Mortis squaring off again, but that’s just nitpicking. On to Luger vs. Hogan!

What did you think of WCW Bash at the Beach 1997? Loved it? Hated it? Thought they had better shows? Either way, keep the conversation going over @collectiveheel on Twitter and let me know your thoughts. While you are there, feel free to check out our podcast network, The Heel Turn Collective. We have shows twice a week including an AEW recap show every Saturday, so I hope to see you there! Take care of yourselves and each other. I will be back soon enough with some more Collective Thoughts.