Classic Wrestling Review: Bash at the Beach ’95

(All screen captures are the property of World Wrestling Entertainment)

Bash at the Beach

July 16, 1995

The Beach

Huntington Beach, California

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Before I begin, I want to announce I am switching my posting day to Sunday instead of Saturday. This will start next week. It gives me an extra day to work on the articles. I don’t want to feel rushed on Saturday mornings to finish.

News & Notes: WCW decided to take the name of this PPV literally and hold the event on a beach. It made for a cool visual, but it meant there would be no gate money. Everyone attended for free. WCW would compensate for that in two ways. First, the show was sponsored by Slim Jim. Second, the TV show Baywatch filmed footage to use in a later episode. The episode wouldn’t air until the next year, so it was a bit outdated. However, it is quite amusing.

There are two main storylines for this event. What’s the name of it again? Oh, yeah. It’s Bash at the Beach. I’m sorry. I pulled a Bockwinkel for a moment. The first program is Hulk Hogan defending his WCW Title against Vader in a Cage Match. Then, Randy Savage faces Ric Flair in a Lifeguard Match. The two matches are meant to blow-off the respective feuds. Hogan & Savage are about to transition into something different. That brings me to the next bit of business.

The Dungeon of Doom began taking shape. Kevin Sullivan finally located the master’s cave. He drank from the goblet of darkness and competed in the Tri-Wizard Tournament. Wait, no. I’m thinking of something else. He transformed into The Taskmaster. The change included a nice red tracksuit with yellow lightning bolts. He looked like the worst version of The Flash. The Master claimed ending Hulkamania was their goal and it was etched in stone! He also gave the Taskmaster two gifts. The first was Kamala the Ugandan Giant. The second was a man known as Zodiac. It was The Butcher. He not only forgot his name, but he also started painting himself like a Little Debbie Zebra Cake. He only said the words yes and no when he spoke. A young Daniel Bryan took notes. More members would join the Dungeon, but I’ll discuss them later. The group was quickly becoming a collection of cartoon villains that would make the old Batman TV show proud.

The show opens with the narrator giving us a little rhyme. Waves are curling. Sharks will be swirling. The fans will be hurling. Okay, I might have added that last one. Randy Savage tells us Slim Jim is the sponsor. He promises to snap into both a Slim Jim and Ric Flair. Is he going to eat him!? This became dark! Then, the narrator says the cage will rumble when Hogan faces the miraculous monster, Vader. I wasn’t aware Vader could perform miracles. I feel like we need a mini-movie of this happening! Where’s Cheatum when you need him?

Then, Tony Schiavone welcomes everyone to the beach while they show some women in bikinis. He calls it the largest crowd in the United States ever to see a WCW event. It’s demonstrably untrue. It’s not even the largest crowd WCW had that year. They want everyone to believe the crowd is huge, but the camera shots reveal the truth. Tony then talks about Vader’s Roadkill Tour. Heenan says the tour has come to an end and so will Hogan’s career.

Next, they show a video package for Meng. They tell us his entire existence revolves around conquering and destroying. He is a shield of steel to protect the emperors of the far east. He’s also trained in nine forms of martial arts! Meng is focused and disciplined, and the fights will continue until the breathing stops! There are many victims and very few friends. His mission is to serve and protect his master. The narrator gets a bit too enthusiastic and speaks in first-person. Does he think he’s Meng? Maybe he is!

Mean Gene is with Meng’s opponent, Sting. Sting knows Meng is tough, but he’s on his home turf. He talks about Meng’s swats, karate chops, and seven forms of martial arts. Hold on! I believe it’s nine! Get it right. Oh, and it’s Karataaaaay! I digress. Sting then says he knows seven forms of crazy. He’s on home turf with palm trees and waves of Stingers of all sizes. He also has his parents in the crowd and won’t be embarrassed in front of them. Gene can’t believe how pumped up Sting is. He says it must be the hometown environment. Sting replies he just said that. He then talks about his muscles, but he pronounces it muss-kools. Sting starts leaving, but Gene encourages him to give the crowd a war cry.

U.S. Title Match: Sting (c) vs. Meng (w/ Col. Parker)

Notes: WCW threw away the small amount of money they made off this event because Michael Buffer is there. He introduces the first match. Did he get paid extra for multiple bouts? Buffer talks about Meng and says, “It was discovered by the WCW while working as a bodyguard.” Did he refer to Meng as it? Michael apparently wants to die. Then, Buffer claims Sting is the star of Thunder in Paradise. Hogan probably yelled, “Say what, brother!?”

The Match: Both men trade punches and chops, but Meng absorbs them. He answers with headbutts and nerve holds. He also shakes off more of Sting’s attacks. Sting looks worried. However, Sting grabs a Scorpion Deathlock when Meng misses a diving headbutt. Parker distracts Sting to make him stop, so Meng attacks. He then nearly kills Sting by dropping him on his head with a suplex from the apron. Meng follows that with multiple backbreakers and holds. He uses an abdominal stretch. Tony claims it’s stretching Sting’s glutes. Do I want to know how!? Then, Sting and Meng trade sunset flip attempts until Sting sits on Meng’s head. Sting also uses a Thesz Press and a surprising hurricanrana. Neither of them works. He continues with a Stinger Splash only for Meng to kick him out of the air. Meng responds with a diving splash and gets an incredibly close two-count. He’s surprised, so Sting uses the opening to win with a roll-up.

Thoughts: The match started slow, but it became pretty good. I don’t think it was as good as their previous bout, but I liked it. Meng got a couple of very close counts, so he still looked strong. These two have good chemistry together. The only thing I didn’t like was the finish was a little weak.

Winner: Sting (15:28)

Meng attacks Sting after the match while Heenan claims Meng was robbed. He knocks Sting to the floor, but Road Warrior Hawk arrives to protect Sting.

Meanwhile, Gene says he can’t concentrate on the action. I wonder why. He welcomes Jimmy Hart and the TV Champion, The Renegade. Hart claims all the wrestling magazines are talking about the Renegade. He’s holding a copy of WCW Magazine. They might be a bit biased. Renegade growls a lot and then says Jimmy programmed him to TOS, terminate on sight. I see the Renegade has watched the Public Enemy’s ECW segments. Also, does this mean Renegade is a robot? That explains so much. Renegade leaves while growling, so Gene calls him kooky and Jimmy Hart laughs.

TV Title Match: The Renegade (c) (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Paul Orndorff

Notes: Orndorff won the Slim Jim Challenge to become #1 Contender to the TV Title. Arn Anderson was still the champ when that happened. Renegade somehow got a title match first and won. It certainly pays to be associated with Hogan. Paul comes to the ring first and Heenan loses his train of thought when he sees a woman in a bikini. While that’s happening, Orndorff threatens Jimmy Hart. Also, I want to point out the crowd quickly turns on Renegade and cheers for Paul.

The Match: Orndorff controls the early match with knees and hair-pulling. He also does his shuffle and drops an elbow. Paul then attempts a jumping nothing, but Renegade raises his boot. He sends Orndorff outside and pulls him back by the hair. Then, Renegade grabs a long headlock while they loudly call spots. To the surprise of no one who can hear, Renegade nails a horrible dropkick. It sends Paul to the outside and onto the beach. He retaliates with the greatest tactic ever.

Orndorff throws sand in Renegade’s eyes. He then suplexes him and attempts a piledriver. Renegade backdrops him and uses more terrible dropkicks. He does a decent powerslam, but Paul pulls Renegade to the floor. They return to the ring, where Renegade reverses a suplex. He follows that with a bridging back suplex for the win. Orndorff’s shoulder was off the mat, but the ref didn’t notice.

Thoughts: This was bad. The Renegade cannot do something as simple as a dropkick. Orndorff had to practically yell spots at him. The only amusing part was the pocket sand. It wasn’t enough to save the match. I feel bad for the guys that have to lose to Renegade. Also, I don’t know if the finish was botched. It’s never addressed other than Heenan complaining about the count.

Winner: The Renegade (6:12)

Orndorff attacks Renegade after the match. He nails a piledriver, but the Renegade gets back to his feet within seconds. He climbs the turnbuckles while Orndorff complains to the ref. Paul takes a while to turn and Renegade gives him a flying cross body. Paul then retreats while Tony and Bobby attempt talking about the match. Both men are distracted by women.

Next, they recap The Master giving Kamala to The Taskmaster as a gift. Sullivan is looking quite snazzy in his track suit. He appears to be drinking a smoky protein shake. I guess the Dungeon of Doom have a good nutrition program. The Master screams every line of his dialog. He claims Kamala crossed the Sahara Desert and slayed beasts on Kilimanjaro. Kamala likes the sight of the Master and decides to give him a nice cuddle.

Then, Gene is with Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Jim says he doesn’t care. I don’t blame him. He also claims he tried playing by the rules. Since when!? Is he making a joke? Duggan throws down his 2×4 and proclaims no more mister nice guy. He promises to use the 2×4 if anyone tries moving furniture. What does Jim have against moving companies? Next, Duggan keeps asking Gene if he knows who is Kamala’s manager. He won’t let him answer. Duggan says he will strike down Kamala and prevail. He then leaves while yelling, “HO!”

Kamala (w/ The Taskmaster) vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan

Notes: The Taskmaster has to keep Kamala focused on the way to the ring. He is distracted by fans. Bobby Heenan is too, but for different reasons. A shirtless fat guy slaps his chest to mimic Kamala. Meanwhile, a security guard reacts to Kamala in disgust.

Look at his face. That says, “You’ve got to be kidding me!” Tony and Bobby show how seriously they take this storyline. Heenan makes sitcom references and practically laughs when Schiavone calls the segments odd.

The Match: The early match is mostly both men trading punches and chops. Duggan uses multiple shoulder blocks and clotheslines to floor Kamala. He retaliates with headbutts and choking. Then, Kamala locks Jim in a long bear hug. Jim tries to break it by boxing Kamala’s ears. He also headbutts him. It knocks Duggan loopy. Jim finally breaks it by stomping Kamala’s toes. However, Duggan misses a corner charge and Kamala uses the dreaded—armpit claw?? Why would he want to touch Duggan’s sweaty pit in that heat? Duggan answers by biting and gives him the running clothesline. The Taskmaster distracts him. Jim attacks, but the Zodiac nails Duggan with Kamala’s mask. Kamala covers for the win.

Thoughts: It was terrible, but they kept the match short. Duggan spent more time smiling and making faces than selling. There were a couple of amusing spots, but it didn’t make this watchable. I have no desire to see Kamala regularly. He’s not a great wrestler. This gimmick was stupid in the 80s. It’s even worse in the 90s. He thankfully wouldn’t last long in WCW.

Winner: Kamala (6:06)

Mean Gene is with Randy Savage. Randy is in full Slim Jim shilling mode. I see someone is getting paid well tonight, besides Buffer. Gene claims the feud with Flair could come to an abrupt halt. Savage agrees. He says there’s a chill in the air. What’s up with that? Savage is feeling cold during a promo? Does that mean he will be summoned to the Dungeon of Doom like Sullivan? He also claims he and Flair have the chemistry to disagree. He agrees to disagree with Flair’s statements, and they will come to an end. Gene then asks about the lifeguards. Savage says he doesn’t care who or what they are. They could be animals. Savage follows that by comparing Florida and California. He says he feels really good on the beach. He finishes by yelling things like Slim Jim and Bash at the Beach.

Diamond Dallas Page (w/ The Diamond Doll & Max Muscle) vs. Dave Sullivan

Notes: DDP makes Kimberly open the ropes for him. A child approaches the ring and hands flowers to her. Page notices and takes them. He berates her for accepting the flowers. Dave Sullivan runs to the ring and attacks from behind. He takes the flowers and shoves them in DDP’s face.

The Match: Dave rams DDP into the turnbuckles and suplexes him from the apron. Then, he attempts a corner charge. DDP moves. Sullivan recovers and gives Page an atomic drop and some clotheslines. He also suplexes DDP, but Dave is distracted by The Diamond Doll. Dave tries rallying with a bear hug. It doesn’t work. However, Page misses a corner charge. Dave gives him more clotheslines and an eye-poke. He also makes sure to apologize to Kimberly for beating up DDP. Then, Sullivan attempts an inverted bear hug, but Max Muscle distracts him. This opens the door for DDP to land the Diamond Cutter for the win.

Thoughts: This was surprisingly decent. They kept a good pace and didn’t let it drag. It was the right length. The crowd was into it. I’ll even admit Dave looked good in this match. I didn’t expect much from this, but I was pleased. Plus, I’ve always been a fan of the Diamond Cutter. I think this is the first time we’ve seen it on PPV.

Winner: Diamond Dallas Page (4:23)

Mean Gene is with Sister Sherri and Harlem Heat. They are once again the Tag Team Champions. Gene says the upcoming Triangle Match will be unusual. Sherri agrees but calls Harlem Heat the number one cohesive unit. She also insults the other teams. Gene is distracted because Stevie Ray stepped on his foot. It causes him to stumble over his words, so Booker tells him to shut up. Booker then says it’s on like a steaming pile of neck bones cooking for three days. Gene follows that up by complaining about Stevie stepping on his foot. Stevie says his foot was in the way. He then says there will be nothing to beating two teams at once.

Triangle Match for the Tag Team Titles: Harlem Heat (c) (w/ Sister Sherri) vs. The Nasty Boys vs. The Blue Bloods

Notes: Harlem Heat regained the Tag Team Titles on TV. The funny thing is the match was filmed before the Nasty Boys won the titles on PPV. They might be the first people to have a negative day title reign. This was billed as a Triangle Match, but WCW apparently redefined that stipulation. It’s essentially a Triple Threat Match. Two teams will start based on a coin flip. Competitors can tag anyone during the bout. The winner will be the first team to score a pin or submission. Penzer also announces a team can be eliminated by disqualification. WCW didn’t inform the commentators of the change. Tony and Bobby are confused by the action. The Nasties and Harlem Heat win the coin toss and begin the match.

The Match: Everyone brawls until the Nasties give the Blue Bloods a Pit Stop. Harlem Heat gain control through double-teaming. They send Eaton to the floor. Sherri slaps him. Then, Stevie nails a tilt-a-whirl slam. I didn’t know he had it in him! The Nasties return and clubber Stevie before attacking his midsection. Everyone keeps tagging themselves into the match. They also try tagging other teams. Eaton even tries forcing Harlem Heat to face each other. The ref doesn’t allow it. Knobbs eventually lands a diving splash on Stevie, but a brawl allows him to recover. The Blue Bloods tag themselves back into the match. Knobbs blocks Regal’s sunset flip and sits on his face. Oh, that sounded wrong! The match becomes another brawl. Knobbs backdrops Regal. Sags dumps Booker onto him. Then, Sags sits on the big pile and the ref counts a three-count. The Nasties think they won. Nick Patrick says Booker had direct contact on the pin, so Harlem Heat win.

Thoughts: This was kind of a mess. It was hard to follow. I’m not a fan of tag matches where anyone can tag anybody. It doesn’t make much sense. Why would you tag out if another team can win at any time? Even the commentators pointed out this flaw. It also doesn’t help the finish was confusing.

Winners: Harlem Heat (13:08)

Gene gets a word with Harlem Heat after the match. He calls them fortunate. Booker takes offense. Sherri says they proved what greatness really means. Gene tries to speak, but Stevie interrupts. He says they beat two fat punks and so-called foreigners. Gene then reminds them Bunkhouse Buck & Dick Slater won a shot at the belts on Main Event. Booker says they’ll face anyone because they’re not closet champions. Gene tells them not to take them for granted. Sherri agrees and claims she said they weren’t closet champions. No, Booker said that. Stevie then finishes the promo by telling everyone to come get some.

Tony and Bobby speak about the rest of the matches. They recap the Flair/Savage feud. Tony explains it will be a Lumberjack Match, but they’re calling it a Lifeguard Match because they’re on the beach. Then, Tony and Bobby argue about whether Savage tried running at The Great American Bash. They sound like a couple of kids.

Mean Gene is with Ric Flair, who cuts the dirtiest promo in the game. He talks about Miss Elizabeth again. Flair claims she had to have it, so she rode Space Mountain just like the Baywatch girls. Ha! Euphemisms! Gene has to turn his head and laugh while Flair rambles about Space Mountain-ettes. Ric then says he jack-slapped Savage’s father because he got in his way. He calls himself the kiss-stealing, wheeling and dealing, son of a gun. He kissed the girls and made them cry. Gene jokes Flair needs a 900 number. Flair then woos while Gene tells him not to take victory for granted.

Lifeguard Match: Macho Man Randy Savage vs. Ric Flair

Notes: Some of the lesser-known characters from Baywatch approach the ring. Heenan stands on his chair and whistles, so Tony tells him to stop. We see the lifeguards are already ringside. Almost all the competitors from earlier are there, except Sting. This is essentially a Lumberjack Match. This means wrestlers surround the ring to prevent the competitors from leaving or stalling. It usually leads to heels attacking faces and vice versa. Savage throws Slim Jims into the crowd, and we see that Angelo Poffo is in the front row. He’s shirtless. I didn’t need to see that. Also, Tony points out Arn Anderson is one of the Lifeguards. He doesn’t feel that’s fair.

The Match: Savage shows a lot of fire early. Both men trade punches and chops. They send each other to the floor. Anderson prevents people from attacking Flair. Also, a fight nearly breaks out between the Nasties and Harlem Heat. Randy then whips Ric around the ring for a Flair Flip. He responds by sending Savage all the way to the sand. The lifeguards return him and both men use sleeper holds. Flair counters Savage into a shinbreaker and works his leg. He eventually puts Savage in a Figure Four, but Randy reverses it. Savage retakes control, so Ric tries escaping. The lifeguards stop him. They also catch Flair when Randy backdrops him over the ropes. Everyone is distracted by this display. It opens the door for Arn to give Savage a DDT. Flair covers and only gets a two-count. Then, both men fight back and forth until Savage slams Ric off the ropes. He follows that with a flying axehandle and the flying elbow for the win.

Thoughts: This was another great match between these two. I liked the lifeguard stuff, especially Arn’s moments. I think their Great American Bash match was better, but this was still good. It didn’t have nearly as much drama. It was more focused on blowing-off the feud. WCW will return to it later in the year. However, Ric has other matters going forward.

Winner: Randy Savage (13:56)

Tony and Bobby recap the match while Savage hugs a Baywatch girl and his father. Then, they watch the Snap of the Match and shill some Slim Jims. Next, Tony speaks about the Dungeon of Doom sending Vader on the Roadkill Tour. Vader narrates footage of the tour from inside a dark cage. The video is set to basically every future cruiserweight theme. They show Vader clobbering jobbers.

Gene then gets a live interview with Vader. He scares Gene by throwing a chair and then asks him what time is it. I guess Vader doesn’t own a watch, but I’m willing to bet it is Vader Time. Vader then says he fears no man and feels no pain. Vader questions Hogan’s claims of 50,000 Hulkamaniacs on the beach. I question it too. I’m sure WCW was upset he didn’t say 100,000. That’s what they were touting. Next, Vader says he was fighting for survival in the inner-city while Hogan was tanning on the beach. He also promises to kick Hogan’s butt all the way back to Hollywood. Gene tells Vader he angered promoters on his Roadkill Tour. Vader laughs. He keeps telling Hogan it’s over and then nearly rips the mic out of Gene’s hand as he leaves.

Tony makes sure to restate there are hundreds of thousands of fans on the beach. Heenan jokes they’ll need chalk for an outline of Hogan after the match. Tony calls him an idiot. Schiavone then plugs Collision in Korea, which will air in August. It’s sadly not on the network. The rights were split between WCW and NJPW, so neither WWE nor NJPW have it on their networks.

Gene is with Hulk Hogan and NBA star, Dennis Rodman. Gene says the last time he saw Rodman was in an airport in Detroit. Rodman replies, “That’s the last time you’ll see me as an airport in Detroit.” No, that’s not a typo. He said that. How high is he? Hogan then claims they were riding motorcycles. He says Vader’s claims of growing up in inner-city Los Angeles are untrue and then spits. Rodman tries wiping Hogan’s mouth, which legitimately annoys Hulk. Next, Hogan claims he will distract Vader with Baywatch babes. He also promises to press Vader’s wart-infested body out of the cage. Hogan apparently has shark friends waiting in the water to eat Vader. Hogan then says Rodman will be outside the cage to stop any interference. He asks Rodman what will happen. Rodman says if anyone tries, they’ll be bass, BASS!! I guess that means he’ll turn them into fish. Hogan follows that nonsense by saying Rodman will give them a Flory Dory on the cage. What does that even mean!? Finally, Hogan says his catch-phrases and leaves with Rodman.

Cage Match for the WCW Title: Hulk Hogan (c) (w/ Jimmy Hart & Dennis Rodman) vs. Vader

Notes: Vader brought back the Mastodon helmet for this match. I missed that crazy thing. It’s a cool sight, but it’s almost ruined by Vader wearing his singlet backward again. I don’t think he realized the Vader Time words are supposed to be on the front. Meanwhile, Hogan gets the bigger Baywatch stars in his entrance. Buffer introduces him and says Hulkmania again. He’s daring WCW to say something. He doesn’t care as long as he gets paid. Tony explains the match can end by pinfall, submission, or escape.

The Match: Hogan attacks Vader with his torn t-shirt. Both men ram each other into the cage and trade punches. Vader takes control and clubs Hogan before ramming him into the mastodon helmet. Hulk reverses a second attempt. Then, Hogan puts on the helmet and headbutts Vader. He looks ridiculous. Vader responds by reversing a whip and nailing an avalanche attack. He follows that with two Vader Bombs, but he only gets a two-count. Next, Vader rams Hogan into the cage and gives him a release suplex. He then tries dismantling the cage because he can’t find the door. Hogan attacks but fails to slam Vader. Vader responds by climbing to the top rope and attempting a flying senton. He misses. Hogan fails another slam, so Vader grabs a headlock. He also nails a short-arm clothesline and a diving splash. Hogan hulks-up. He rams Vader into the cage and does the big boot. However, The Taskmaster and Zodiac arrive. Rodman chases them away with a chair, while Hogan nails two leg drops. He starts escaping, but Vader rises. Hogan then knocks him off the ropes and climbs out of the cage for the win.

Thoughts: This was an enjoyable match. They had enough fun spots to keep it interesting. I liked the stuff with the helmet. That amused me. I wish Vader could have gotten a win in this feud, but it is Hogan. I’m simply surprised Hulk never got a pinfall victory over him. Vader is one of the few that can claim that. All the wins were either by DQ, shenanigans, or escaping a cage. This is the end of the Vader/Hogan feud, as you will see by the post-match antics.

Winner: Hulk Hogan (13:23)

Hogan celebrates with Rodman and leaves. Tony and Bobby recap the night, but Heenan doesn’t know what to say. Schiavone says goodnight, but it’s not over. The cameras keep rolling while Flair runs to the ring. Ric yells at Vader and throws a fit. He can’t believe Vader lost. Tony realizes they’re still on the air, as Vader finally has enough. He attacks Flair, so Arn Anderson saves him. Flair and Anderson retreat while Vader threatens them. Vader then tells the camera he’ll take on both Flair and Anderson. He calls Ric a big-nosed punk. This was supposed to set up Vader’s face turn. However, he doesn’t make it to the next PPV. I’ll explain more in a later review.

Tony and Heenan recap what happened and show some more replays. Heenan says everyone is losing their minds. Schiavone then says goodnight again while Heenan leaves.

The Good:

  • Savage/Flair was great.

  • The main event was fun.

  • Sting/Meng was solid.

  • DDP/Dave was surprisingly decent.

The Bad:

  • Kamala/Duggan was terrible.

  • The Tag Title Match was a confusing mess.

  • The Renegade.

Performer of the Night:

I’m giving it to Diamond Dallas Page for dragging a decent match out of Dave Sullivan. That was the bout that surprised me the most.

Final Thoughts:

This wasn’t a great PPV. It’s not terrible, but the bad outweighed the good. Only the last couple of matches were great. I would say the show was below average. It had a few amusing moments. The Dungeon of Doom is always good for a chuckle if you don’t take it too seriously. This was an odd time for WCW. The shows were bad, but in an almost entertaining way. This event simply fell a bit short of that.


Written by Paul Matthews

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