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Leighty’s WCW Bash at The Beach (1996) Review

July 7, 2021 | Posted by Robert Leighty Jr.
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Leighty’s WCW Bash at The Beach (1996) Review  

-It’s the 25th anniversary of one of the most historic shows in wrestling history and I figured why not take a look back. This show also happened on my mom’s birthday which gives me a chance to wish her a Happy Birthday. I was 15 when this show happened and I still remember running around my house losing my mind when Hall debuted on Nitro. Coincidentally that happened on my 15th birthday and Hall’s debut coupled with my parents giving me $50 made for an awesome day. You all know the build to this one as Hall and Nash came in with threats of taking over and the mystery of a 3rd man is still one of the best story lines in wrestling history and they probably over delivered with the payoff. I am getting ahead of myself though, so let’s get to it!

-July 7, 1996
-The Ocean Center, Daytona Beach, FL
-Announce Team: Tony Schiavone, Dusty Rhodes, and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

-The show opening with the Seal ripoff music and “Hostile Takeover” video package is still awesome and gives me all the feels from that time. Man, I am already fired up to check this one out again. Real quick, I have this show on VHS as I recorded a replay of the event, but I didn’t get the opening few matches, so every time I watched the show up until The Network debuted, I missed out seeing the entire show.

-Tony, Bobby, and Dusty welcome us and tell us Eric Bischoff is missing. Intrigue! It all makes sense now, but back then who knew. Oh, and RIP to Dream and The Brain!

Psychosis vs. Rey Mysterio Jr

-Mike Tenay joins the announce team for this one as that was always a wonderful touch. He was sorely needed to help get these cruiserweights over as he provided the history and put names to moves that we otherwise wouldn’t have heard. Heenan immediately asks Tenay if he knows who the 3rd man is and Tenay has no clue even as The Wrestling Insider. As mentioned, when I taped the show this match was missing, so that sucked, but it will seem new to me since I didn’t wear it out like the rest of the card. These two were paired off in their short ECW runs before WCW scooped them up. Rey offers a handshake and Psy slaps him in the face. Rey gets an armdrag that sends Psy to the floor as Tenay gives us the history of this rivalry. Rey shoots for a leg and gets a half-crab. Psychosis counters and gets a bow and arrow which Rey turns into a pin attempt for two. Rey gets a cross armbreaker as Heenan makes jokes about his hair being like Peg Bundy’s. Again, this is why we needed Tenay! They continue with the ground game as you can tell the crowd is just waiting for them to start flying. Heenan makes a joke about not being able to buy masks like these to use in banks. Well, then 2020 came along. They have had enough of this ground game stuff and Psychosis sends Rey to the floor and hits a tope. Back in the ring a slam followed by a leg drop for two. Psychosis grounds Rey with a chinlock, and then another slam. Up top Psychosis comes off with a guillotine legdrop for another two. He got some great height on that! Psychosis throws some chops and hits a running clothesline before striking a pose. That delay leads him to only getting two. Psychosis to the head scissors as the crowd is still just waiting for Rey to break loose. Rey was only 21 at the time of this match. That’s nuts! They fight on the apron and Rey monkey flips Psychosis into the ring post and comes off the apron with a rana. Springboard into another rana, which is The West Coast Pop now, gets two. Rey works the knee for a bit and hits a dropkick while Psychosis was staked in the corner. No where to go on that one! Psychosis alley oops Rey across the ring as he lands stomach first on the top rope. Nice! A DDT follows and Rey heads to the floor to break, but Psychosis is out after him and drops him throat first on the guard rail. Psychosis up and hits a sick Senton to the floor. That had to suck for Rey! Enziguri back in the ring as Heenan questions where Tenay gets the names for these moves. Schiavone chimes in that if you don’t know, you just make them up. Psychosis goes to a camel clutch for a bit. Rey counters a hammerlock and cartwheels onto Psychosis’ shoulders into a head scissors. That sends Psychosis to the apron where Rey hits a springboard dropkick. He then comes off the top with another rana to Psychosis on the apron which sends both men to the floor. Again, this shit was happening in 1996! Another spring back into the ring for a pin and 2 count. Another springboard and this one into a dropkick to the back of the head. Psychosis gets to the floor and Rey hits a twisting Asai Moonsault which leaves Heenan baffled. Rey caught a lot of guard rail on that one. Rey goes to spring back in the ring again, but gets caught and dropped with a powerbomb for two. Psychosis runs him stomach first into the ropes and looks for Splash Mountain, but Rey counters in midair into another rana for the pin and big time pop at 15:05.

Winner: Rey Mysterio Jr via pin at 15:05
-Just mind blowing stuff at the time and while a lot of this has become common place, nobody can do it the way prime Rey Mysterio did. It took a bit to get going, but this was just great stuff and helped in getting the CW division over in WCW. ****1/4

-United States Champion, Konnan, speaks with Mean Gene (RIP) backstage to hype his title match with Ric Flair. He mentions he will clothesline one of the women if needed. Well, that’s one to sell a match.

Carson City Silver Dollar Match: Big Bubba (RIP) (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. John Tenta (RIP)

-So this is a match where a sock full of silver dollars is on a pole. If you retrieve said sock you can use it as a weapon. The issue is neither Tenta or Bubba can climb the pole so this has bad idea written all over it. Tenta is fresh off being Avalanche and then The Shark as a member of The Dungeon of Doom. He was turfed from the group and had half of his head shaved by Bubba. Tenta chases Bubba around the ring as we stall to start this one. Even the announcers have no clue how either man is going to be able to climb and reach the sock. More stalling! Heenan has the right idea as he says Jimmy Hart should climb for Bubba. Tenta is the first to go for the sock and who are we kidding? Bubba lands a shot and makes a go and again, who are we kidding here? Tenta knocks him off the top rope and walks over Bubba. We do get one impressive spot as Bubba takes Tenta off the top rope and drops him with a kind of Electric Chair Drop. The crowd is into this one just because of the idea of these two trying to climb a pole. Tenta crotches Bubba on the top buckle and then tosses him to the floor. Tenta realizes he can’t climb and just opts to try to take the pole down. Bubba is back with a leather belt and chokes away while Jimmy distracts the ref. Doesn’t matter though as apparently this match is anything goes. Well, you can’t say they aren’t giving the fans something different from the opening match. Next up Bubba has some athletic tape as he tapes Tenta to the middle rope. He whips away with the belt and chokes some more. Bubba goes to cut some more hair, but leaves himself exposed to a well placed ball shot. Tenta uses the scissors to cut himself loose and attempts to cut the straps holding the pole in place. Bubba stops that noise and hits a spine buster. Bubba sends Jimmy Hart up the pole and while he is making the climb, Tenta catches Bubba with a powerslam. Jimmy comes back with the sock and the crowd pops as Tenta gets it off him. He decks Bubba with the sock to a big pop and that gets the three count at 8:53.

Winner: John Tenta via pin at 8:53
-Yeah, this wasn’t good, but the crowd loved it and they hit some decent power moves. Again, it was certainly different and there’s nothing wrong with that. *1/2

-The commentary team debate who the 3rd man could be. Again, the hype was so great and yet they were able to deliver.

-Back to Gene with Randy Savage (RIP), Sting, and Lex Luger. Savage doesn’t care who the 3rd man is as he is going to hurt everyone. Luger says they are prepared and Sting says the unknown gives him goosebumps. Savage just chiming in with one liners and catchphrases is awesome!

Taped Fist: Lord of The Ring Match: Diamond Dallas Page vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan

-DDP won The Lord of The Ring monicker by winning Battle Bowl at Slamboree in May. So both men have their fists taped as we are getting some punching! So naturally this starts off with a headlock. Page gets knocked to the floor off a shoulder block. DDP spits his gum on Hacksaw and then bails to the floor. He gets a sweep of the legs and breaks out tape to tie Duggan’s legs around the ring post. DDP pounds away with the taped fist and gets stupid as he tries a headbutt. That doesn’t work out well for him and now Duggan gets to unload with right hands as Page bounces around ringside. The crowd just loves Duggan and his USA chant! Duggan rams Page back first into the post and gets a suplex from the apron back into the ring. Another suplex is blocked as Page grabs the middle rope and then he drops Duggan face first on the mat. Duggan gets caught with an elbow as Page heads up top. Duggan knocks him off balance which causes Page to land balls first on the ropes. Duggan bounces DDP head first off the buckles and sends him to the floor with a clothesline. It should be noted Duggan no longer has any tape on his fists as Page cut it off at some point. DDP gets chased back in the ring, and kicks the rope to stun Duggan which gives him the opening to hit The Diamond Cutter for the win at 5:43.

Winner: Diamond Dallas Page via pin at 5:43
-Again, not good, but something different and the crowd loved it. The taped fist stip didn’t mean anything other than DDP cutting the tape off Duggan’s hands. This was just another step in DDP’s ascension up the card which nobody was really even thinking was possible at the time. *1/2

-Duggan tapes up his fist and unloads on DDP to get his heat back after the match.

-Gene in the back with WCW Champion, The Giant, and Kevin Sullivan. Hype for their match against Benoit and Anderson. Gene sets the story for the match as The Horsemen are targeting Sullivan and have a goal of keeping Giant out of the match. Gene makes me laugh as he asks Jimmy Hart to do him a favor and brush his teeth.

-Back on the arena floor, Lee Marshall (RIP) is with Arn Anderson and Chris Benoit. If they win their tag match, any one of the Horsemen gets a World Title shot on Nitro against The Giant. Arn talks Outsiders as he tells them they have a tough road tonight and if they survive they can jump on The Horsemen. This is the point where my 25 year old video copy picks up as I have Benoit’s “silent but violent” line seared in my memory as that is the first thing I hear every time I start the tape.

Double Dog Collar Match: Public Enemy (RIP) vs. The Nasty Boys

-WWE copyright issues hit as PE have some generic music dubbed over their WCW theme. They bring tables to the ring and these two teams were just made to beat on each other in crazy brawls. The Nasty Boys are actually involved in one of my favorite matches of all time: Slamboree 1994 vs Cactus Jack and Kevin Sullivan. We have two referees and it looks like Grunge is being chained to Knobbs and Rock to Saggs. Tug of War to start as the teams stand off and they immediately hit the floor. They go to the split screen and while it was cool at the time, it is so small because of the massive graphics taking up most of the screen. They brawl around the ring as Rock pulls out a trash can lid to beat on Saggs. Grunge gets blasted with the garbage can, but fights back with the lid. Rock gets crotched on the railing while Knobbs and Grunge head to the beach set. A rubber shark gets used as Dusty loses it. All four men back at the entrance as Saggs grabs a surfboard to hammer Rock. Dusty and Bobby get a chance to make every beach and surfing joke they can. We get a two count in the chaos on the surfboard. Rock heads up the life guard tower, but gets pulled off by the chain. Some more weak shots with the can lid on one end while on the other someone gets decked solidly. Rock back up the tower and Saggs just pushes it over. Effective! Knobbs drops an elbow on Grunge on the boardwalk for a two count. Tony is just along for the ride as Dusty and Bobby continue to crack jokes to make him break. A table gets involved as Saggs suplexes it on Rock. It doesn’t break so Grunge sets it up. Saggs delivers a piledriver on the floor. They continue to brawl and the table ends up breaking in the fight. Knobbs gets another two count but then eats a garbage can shot to the head. Everyone heads back to the ringside area as the announcers are stunned they are going to use the ring. Another table gets introduced as Saggs gets placed on it. Rock heads up top, but again, gets pulled down by the chain and he just bounces off the table. That had to suck as that table just refused to break. Saggs chokes with the chain and sets Rock up on the table. He heads up with his elbow wrapped in the chain and drops it on Rock, but again, the table refuses to break. Again, that had to suck. Things kind of break down as I think the table not breaking has thrown off whatever they had planned. Grunge gets hung over the top rope and Rock ends up getting clotheslined into that chain. Saggs drops the chain on the back of the head and that is enough for the pin at 11:27. They continue to brawl after the match as Grunge just unloads with a chain shot to the back of Knobbs head and Saggs ends up going through the table as it finally breaks.

Winners: The Nasty Boys via pin at 11:27
-This would be classified as entertaining crap as they beat on each other with whatever they could find and like everything else on this show, it was just different. The ending was off due to the table giving them issues, but this was a solid ECW era garbage brawl that was new to people who weren’t watching ECW. **1/4

-Back to Gene standing down the hall from The Outsiders dressing room with a bunch of cops between him and the door. Gene spouts off how historic this night is going to be and in this case it ended up not being hyperbole.

WCW Cruiserweight Championship: Dean Malenko (c) vs. Disco Inferno

-Dean looks pissed as he marches towards the ring, so this could be fun. Dean lands a slap before the match and as has been a trend tonight they immediately head to the floor. Disco gets the brakes beaten off him out there and then back into the ring. Dean hits a short clothesline and then a leg lariat for two. Disco tries to fight back but catches an elbow to the head. Brainbuster gets a two count and then Dean hooks a chin lock. Even the announcers are treating Disco as a joke in this contest. Disco gets to the ropes to break a head scissors. To the corner and Dean just pounds away and then drops Discus with a belly to back suplex. This is just a beating! Heel hook as Disco keeps fighting off his back to avoid being counted out. Dean targets the knee and then hits a dropkick to the back of the head for two. Half Crab as we are nearly 5 minutes into this one and Disco hasn’t done anything. The Crab is turned into a STF and Dean grinds the nose for good measure. Dean gets a two count off a roll-up from the corner and then drops another elbow to the head. To the corner and Disco finally lands some punches and he fires up so much the crowd even cheers him. Disco with a nice Stun Gun followed by a face plant for two. Dusty: “Sooner or later you get tired of getting beat up.” To the floor where Disco gets sent into the rail and then back into the ring. Dean drops a knee to the face and stretches Disco on the mat for a bit but he is able to fight enough to reach the bottom rope with his foot. Disco throws a shot which only angers Dean. He uses the ropes to gain some height on leg drop for another two count. Disco rallies in the corner and fires off some elbows to the head. Malenko floats over in the corner, but has a double axe blocked and gets dropped with a reverse neckbreaker for two. Backdrop for another two count. Swinging neckbreaker, but Disco fixes his hair and starts to dance before he realizes how stupid that is and Dean is out at two. Malenko comes back with a springboard dropkick and sets for The Cloverleaf, but Disco gets a small package for two. He looks for a hiptoss, but Dean just destroys him with a clothesline. Disco holds the ropes to avoid a dropkick, but can’t follow up as Dean hits a double arm powerbomb followed by the Texas Cloverleaf for the submission at 12:04.

Winner and Still WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Dean Malenko via pin at 12:04
-Heck of a match here as Dean showed some great intensity and Disco had to fight in this one or he would have been eaten alive. The announcers did a good job of telling the story that Disco was kind of a joke coming in, but showed great fight to earn some respect. With that said, Dean was just too much in the end. ***1/2

”Desperado” Joe Gomez vs. Steve “Mongo” McMichael (w/ Debra)

-I have no clue what music they were using for Gomez but it gets dubbed over here. McMichael is fresh off his heel turn the previous month where he joined The 4 Horsemen. Gomez charges and eats some clubbering blows and chops. McMichael hits a clothesline in the corner, but Gomez fires back. He hits a back elbow which Mongo has no desire to sell. A crossbody for Gomez gets a two count, but Mongo is back up with a bloody lip. Mongo throws some chops in the corner and attacks the midsection. Gomez blocks a buckle shot, but gets kicked in the balls for his trouble. Mongo uses the bottom rope to choke as this is the first match on the card to feature a quiet crowd. Mongo kicks a field goal for two. Mongo goes to a sloppy camel clutch as this match has probably run too long already. Wait, it’s only been 3 minutes? Mongo to a sleeper, but thankfully a jawbreaker stops it quickly. Mongo gets a nasty reverse neckbreaker as that looked rough, but Gomez is out at two. The announcers continue to hype our Main Event which only adds to the drama and intrigue. Gomez gets a small package for two and avoids an elbow. He escapes a piledriver attempt with backdrop and then pounds away. He lands several chops that finally sends Mongo to the mat and then catches him with a dropkick. Just an awful sunset flip sequence that was nearly botched twice and thankfully a Tombstone from Mongo ends this one at 6:45.

Winner: Steve “Mongo” McMichael via pin at 6:45
-This was rough as Mongo was only 3 matches or so into his career and Joe wasn’t the one to be helping him along. This seemed a lot longer than nearly 7 minutes and had some rough spots. The Tombstone was solid though. 1/2*

-Back to the locker room area as Gene is with Ric Flair, Miss Elizabeth (RIP), and Woman (RIP). Man, it’s depressing when ¾ of the people in the segment have passed. Miss Elizabeth was great with the heel turn (who knew she had it in her?) and is just gorgeous. Gene falling for Woman in each of these segments was always a highlight. Ric not only hypes his match with Konnan, but also praises Mongo and puts over Benoit/Anderson. He also mentions that Savage has big plans tonight, but he never should stop looking at the camera and praying that Liz could be back home as it is never going to happen. Flair with these two and Gene is just awesome!

WCW United States Championship: Konnan (c) vs. Ric Flair (w/ Woman and Miss Elizabeth)

-Flair offers a handshake to start and Konnan accepts. Flair then struts and the crowd is solidly behind him in this one. To the corner for a Woo as Konnan is trying to figure out how to handle this. Konnan goes a headlock and Woman immediately starts shrieking. Can’t say she wasn’t invested! Konnan hits a dropkick and Flair begs off in the corner and then gets slapped in the face. Flair’s sell of it is great! The crowd boos Konnan as he tries to get them on his side. You’re in a losing battle in this one sir! They battle over a top wristlock for a bit and Konnan eventually gets the advantage. Konnan goes to a side headlock and then sends Flair down with a shoulder block. Konnan offers his own Woo and again, the crowd isn’t happy. Flair wakes them up with some chops in the corner and then a short right hand. Flair gets sent into the corner and takes the high backdrop on the way out. Konnan stretches Flair with a Bow and Arrow and rolls into a brief hammerlock. He follows with a Gorilla Press Slam and Flair begs off again. Konnan throws some chops in the corner and Flair comes back with one of his own, so Konnan decks him. Another Gorilla Press Slam and a clothesline sends both men to the floor. Konnan hits a clothesline off the apron and knocks Elizabeth down in the process. Konnan heads back up top, but Woman shakes the ropes to knock him off balance and to the mat. Well, it kind of serves Konnan right as he puts hands on Liz first. Now Flair takes over as he drops a knee to the bridge of the nose for two. They exchange blows and Flair wins that battle by going to the eyes. Effective! Speaking of effective, Flair distracts the ref and Woman just buries Konnan’s little Konnan’s with a field goal kick. That drew one of the biggest pops of the night! As Dusty just yelled, “She kicked him looooow.” More manipulating the ref so Woman can choke Konnan on the floor. Flair then brings him back in the ring with a vertical suplex for a two count. And another, and another! I like that spot! It shows how much a win means to someone. Flair goes to a front facelock for a bit before he throws some elbows to break. Konnan fires up with chops and gets the mounted punches in the corner. That leads to a Flair Flop and then Flair takes his corner bump, but a springboard dropkick sends Flair to the floor. Flair heads back to beg off again and Flair is able to work in a cheap shot. The Figure Four is countered into a small package for two. Konnan gets a drop toehold and his own Figure Four. Flair gets to the ropes to break and rolls to the apron. Konnan with a suplex back in for a two count. Flair gets sent into the corner, but charges out with a back elbow. He heads up top and that goes as expected as he gets slammed off. Dusty: “he has a real bad habit of doing that.” No kidding! Rolling clothesline from Konnan gets two. Liz gets on the apron as Konnan has the match won. Woman gets a shoe and decks Konnan with the heel after Flair landed a backbreaker. Flair covers and even puts his feet on the ropes just because he can for the win and US Title at 15:40.

Winner and New WCW United States Champion: Ric Flair via pin at 15:40
-Kind of a clash of styles here and it was a struggle, but ended up being solid. Flair cheating to win is always great and that ball shot by Woman was one for the ages. ***

-Mean Gene is outside the door of The Outsiders and is doing his best to eavesdrop. He mentions that voice sounds familiar but is muffled. There’s a clue! Tony tells Gene he has no idea. He says the voice is so muffled, but it is someone we have heard and seen before. Heenan wants Gene to offer money to the cops to see if they would talk. Gene mentions he still hasn’t heard anything from Bischoff. Again, these segments are just great as it just laying the drama and suspense on thick.

Chris Benoit and Arn Anderson vs. The Giant (WCW World Champion) and Kevin Sullivan

-The stipulation here is that if The Horsemen win a member of the group gets a Title Match on Nitro against The Giant. Obviously if it happens that chance is going to Flair as he mentioned in his interview earlier. Sullivan and Giant jump The Horsemen in the aisle while they make their entrance and it’s on. Just a massive brawl in the aisle with Anderson getting blasted with a chair by Sullivan. Mongo heads out and hits Giant with the briefcase which draws him to the back leaving Sullivan alone with The Horsemen. Benoit and Sullivan continue their war in the ring as The Giant heads back towards the ring. Again, the story is simple: The Horsemen are good when Sullivan is in the ring and know they are toast if Giant gets the tag. Sullivan gets trapped in the wrong corner and gets double teamed. He gets sent to the floor where he and Benoit brawl some more. Benoit sends him head first into the rail, but Sullivan makes his own comeback and pulls Arn out to the floor to send him into the railing. Back in the ring, Arn grabs the leg and makes the tag to Benoit. He throws some chops and again, Sullivan gets smoked in the corner. Rabbit punches from Benoit and again anytime Sullivan shows life, The Horsemen cut off the tag and get their fresh member back in the ring. Benoit sets up for a superplex, but Giant is in, so Benoit tries a crossbody, but that doesn’t go well for him. Giant throws Benout on Anderson, but Sullivan can’t make the tag. Benoit unloads with right hands and talks some trash. Sullivan gouges the eyes and Anderson is in to make the save. Anderson back in as he gets a few two counts. Sullivan gets in a low blow, but Benoit gets the tag to stop any chance of Giant making the tag. Back to Anderson as the prep for a spike piledriver, but Sullivan turns that into a slingshot that sends Anderson into Benoit. Sullivan with a belly to back and the hot tag is made to The Giant. Anderson and Benoit bail to the floor. Benoit and Sullivan brawl by the announce team while The Giant finishes Arn with a chokeslam at 8:02. Benoit dives off the announce position onto Sullivan and more chairs get used. The Giant is gone while Arn is a quivering mess in the ring. Benoit takes Sullivan back to the ring and hits a top rope belly to back suplex. Now Woman is out to talk sense into Benoit on Sullivan’s behalf and this is where things get sad and well, kind of icky. The Giant is out to run everyone off and he carries Sullivan to the back.

Winners: The Giant and Kevin Sullivan via pin at 8:02
-Just a basic tag match with a good story as The Horsemen did all they could to keep Sullivan in the match and when they failed it ended rather quickly thanks to Giant being booked so well. The post match stuff was intriguing back in 1996 and is just heartbreaking now. **

-Tony hypes our Main Event and throws to a video package I have probably watched more than any other video package in wrestling history. It’s a run down of everything that has happened with The Hostile Takeover since May 27. I mean I have this etched into my brain forever and it still gives me chills and gets me hyped. The powerbomb of Bischoff through the stage is still just awesomely awesome and he sold it like death. Outsiders holding off members of the WCW roster with ball bats while cops surround the ring with hands on the guns. I don’t know any other way to describe how amazing this time was to be a fan and I feel bad for anyone that missed out on it live. There’s just one way to end this show. Let’s get to it!

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

-MICHAEL BUFFER! He was huge to WCW as you knew it was Main Event time and the crowd loved his spiel. Heenan being apprehensive about this match is so on character for him. The Outsiders are out first (to a big pop) and they don’t have a third man with them which has pissed off the announce team. Police lining the aisle is another wonderful little touch. The whole thing only gets more chaotic as Sting’s music hits and some pyro goes off before it is stopped as Gene gets into the ring. He asks where their partner is and Hall calls him Scheme Gene (nice) and says he is here and he is ready, but Nash informs Gene they have enough right now to handle things. Dusty and Tony are heated as they call bull on that and Tony just wants Team WCW out there to kick their teeth in and end this. Again, this is all just great. Heenan questions if The Outsiders scammed them.

-Luger, Sting and Savage finally make their entrance and they all have their faces painted as they are ready for war. Tony finally has to puts names to The Outsiders as we hear the names Nash and Hall for the first time. As a quick note, Sting, Luger and Savage were in this match thanks to a random draw that I believe also included Hogan, Flair and The Giant. Just another little thing to throw Hogan’s name out there to keep people off track. Heenan questions if Dusty could be the third man and that pisses Dusty off. The crowd is primed for this one as the stand off to see who is going to start and it’s Luger with Hall. A toothpick gets thrown, so Luger slaps Hall in the face. Hall gets off first with a kick to the gut and some right hands. Luger gets a forearm and then decks Nash for good measure. Luger ends up on the apron and gets pinned by Nash. Savage in with a double ax to Hall while Sting hits a Stinger Splash on Nash, but that takes out Luger whose neck was pinned under Nash. Luger is out as this match grounds to a halt and a gurney is heading out to wheel Luger’s lifeless body out of the match. This is just brilliant as it is now 2 on 2 and the idea that Luger could return later to turn on WCW out there as well. If I remember there was a rumor that Luger was the backup option if Hogan didn’t go through the turn, or that could just be WCW working the smart fans. Hall gets some shots in on Luger as he is wheeled to the back. Now 4:30 into the match we have a standard 2 on 2 match. Hall slaps Sting and he just unloads on Hall and bounces his head on the canvas. Inverted atomic drop and a face plant. Savage in, but he gets caught coming off top and while Hall distracts Sting, Nash comes it to drop Savage with Snake Eyes. Savage back with a clothesline though so Hall opts to tag Nash and the pop is massive. Savage pops off rights in the corner, but gets dropped with a knee and then an elbow to the back of the head. Body slam and Nash looks to drop an elbow that Savage was apparently supposed to move from, but can’t and ends up taking a nasty elbow on his neck. He quickly tags out as he rolls around on the apron. That could have ended up worse. Sting gets choked by Nash with his boot in the corner as Tony questions why WCW doesn’t send someone else out to take Luger’s place. Sting tries a sunset flip, but Nash picks him up by the throat and tosses him across the ring. Sweet! Savage is back on his feet in the apron as Heenan realizes how weird it is for him to cheer on Savage. Sting continues to take an ass kicking as only he can with Nash hitting a big boot. Nash toys around with Sting as the announcers are not thinking the 3rd man act was a ploy. Sting ducks a clothesline and hits a dropkick to the knee. Hall with the tag and he cuts Sting off from making a tag. Sting gets a small package for one as the ref was trying to get Savage under control in the corner. Hall slaps Sting around a bit and hooks an abdominal stretch while Nash holds his hand for more leverage. Simple things like that always work. They trade off with no tag and the ref (Anderson) just buys it. Nash with the abdominal stretch now as the crowd is trying to rally Sting. He rake the eyes to break, but again, Hall is right there to stop the hot tag. Clothesline from Hall gets a two count. Tony: “No, Hell No!” Hall to a sleeper for a few seconds before throwing Sting over the top to the floor. That’s enough for Savage as he grabs a chair and runs after Nash, but the ref stops him. Tony questions why the ref would stop him, but the man is a ref and that’s what they do. Back inside the ring Nash throws an elbow and hits a sweet sidewalk slam for two. A little frustration from Nash there! Sting gets bounced around the ring again, but gets in a few shots as he makes the comeback. He dives onto Nash and makes the hot tag to Savage. I should say HOT TAG as Savage loses it as he takes out Hall and Nash. Hall gets dumped to the floor and eats a double ax down there. Back in the ring Hall eats another one and Nash stops that run with a time ball shot. NOW HISTORY AS HULK HOGAN HEADS DOWN TO THE RING. They do leave in Heenan’s famous “whose side is he on,” call. HOGAN HITS THE RING AND DROPS THE LEG ON RANDY SAVAGE TO REVEAL HIMSELF AS THE THIRD MAN! Just awesome and I am losing it watching it 25 years later. Dusty, Tony and Heenan are disgusted. Hogan tosses Anderson to the floor (ending the match at as a non contest) and drops another leg on Savage. Hall counts the unofficial 1-2-3.

No Contets at 16:55 or so as there was no official bell to end it
-The match was quite good as Sting is a master at taking an ass beating and Savage is a great hot tag guy. The crowd was way into it as you would imagine, but the match was secondary to the angle it was setting up and on that front they delivered in a way very few things every do in wrestling. *** for the match and a billion stars for everything that came after Hogan popping through the curtain.

-Now the fun as the fans start pelting the ring with garbage as Sting helps Savage to the back. They do cut out the fat fan that rushed the ring and got destroyed by Hall and Nash. That sucks though I may be on one of the nWo DVD releases. All we see of it is security on the bottom of the screen dealing with him. The garbage continues to fly as some of the fans are cheering, some are ready to rush the ring and others are just in shock. Mean Gene (who Heenan points out looks like he is ready to break) hits the ring for one of the greatest promos of all time, and as I did with the nWo DVD review years back, I will post it verbatim.

GENE: Hulk Hogan, what in the world are you thinking?

HOGAN: Mean Gene, the first thing that you need to do is to tell these people to shut up if you wanna hear what I gotta say.

GENE: I have been with you for so many years… for you to join up with the likes of these two men absolutely makes me sick to my stomach. And I think that these people here and a lot of other people around the world, have had just about enough of this man, this man, (pointing to Nash and Hall) and you want to put yourself in this group? You’ve got to be…kidding me!

HOGAN: Well, the first thing you’ve got to realize, brother, is this right here is the future of wrestling. You can call this the New World Order of Wrestling, brother. These two men right here came from a great big organization up North. And everybody was wondering who the 3rd man was. Well who knows more about that organization than me brother?

GENE: You have made the wrong decision, in my opinion.

HOGAN: Well tet me tell you something. I made that organization a monster. I made people rich up there. I made the people that ran that organization rich, brother. When it all came to pass, the name Hulk Hogan, the man Hulk Hogan, got bigger than the whole organization! And then Billionaire Ted, Amigo, he wanted to talk turkey with Hulk Hogan. Billionaire Ted promised me movies, brother, Billionaire Ted promised me millions of dollars, brother, and Billionaire Ted promised me world caliber matches. And as far as Billionaire Ted, Eric Bischoff, and the whole WCW goes, I’m bored brother. That’s why these two guys here, the so-called Outsiders, these are the men I want as my friends. They’re the new blood of professional wrestling, brother, and not only are we going to take over the whole wrestling business, with Hulk Hogan and the new blood, the monsters with me, we will destroy everything in our path, Mean Gene!

GENE: Look at all this crap in this ring! This is what’s in the future for you if you want to hang around with the likes of this man, Hall, and this man, Nash.

HOGAN: As far as I’m concerned, all this crap in the ring represents these fans out here. For two years, brother, for two years, I held my head high, I did everything for the charities. I did everything for the kids, and the reception I got when I came out here…you fans can stick it, brother. Because if it wasn’t for Hulk Hogan, you people wouldn’t be here. If it wasn’t for Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff would be still selling meat from a truck in Minneapolis and if it wasn’t for Hulk Hogan, all these Johnny-Come-Lately’s that you see out here wrestling, wouldn’t be here. I was selling out the world, brother, while they were bumming gas to put in their cars to get to high school, so the way that it is now, brother, with Hulk Hogan and the New World Organization of Wrestling, brother, me and the new blood by my side … whatcha gonna do when the New World Organization runs wild on you? Whatcha gonna do? (He grabs Gene)

GENE: Hey don’t touch me! I’ll get a fleet of lawyers. Tony, Bobby, Dusty…dammit…let’s get back to you.

TONY: Alright, we have seen the end of Hulk-a-mania. For Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. For Dus, Dusty Rhodes. Ge, Gene Okerlund. I don’t know. I’m Tony Schiavone. Hulk Hogan you can go to hell! We’re out of here. Straight to Hell! (slams down the headset and all you can see is Hogan, Hall and Nash celebrating while the crowd continues to throw garbage while an audible Hogan chant can be heard).

-The fact I can recite nearly word for word as Hogan cuts the promo should tell you how memorable it was and also how many times I have watched it. This was just earth shattering stuff at the time and it’s still just as surreal 25 years later. Everyone deserves credit for this as they all played their parts perfectly and even with occasional New World Organization flub, Hogan stuck this promo and this is the moment that kick started WCW kicking the crap out of the WWF for 18 months until Vince was forced to go in a new direction and counter. Thanks for reading and for taking a trip down memory lane with me. Perhaps I will get back to doing more of these older shows.

The final score: review Amazing
The 411
Overall this show is one of the most memorable of all time thanks to The Hogan Heel Turn and nWo formation, but it had a lot else going for it. The opener was a classic that continued the CW becoming a highlight of WCW. Their work also ushered in a new style that mainstream US audiences weren't used to seeing. Some matches weren't very good, but they all had heat (save Mongon/Gomez). Disco/Dean and Flair/Konnan also delivered good matches. This is just a fun show with one of the most shocking endings to a PPV of all time and that is enough to make this a must see show.