Through the Years: WCW from Clash 23 to Beach Blast 1993

WCW at this time was definitely in flux, and it’s fair to say there wasn’t a whole lot of good going on within the company. Of course, there were good things too. Like, for example, Harlem Heat showing up. With this being WCW and all of course they had a bad idea for them. The original idea was for Col. Robert Parker to lead them out in chains because they were prisoners. Obviously the imagery would have given a different impression. Apparently this was Sid’s idea. Perhaps the worst news was that Barry Windham messed up his knee and after Beach Blast was going to be out for a long time.

– Taped to air June 19th, 1993, on the Power Hour, from the Civic Center in Anderson, South Carolina

Brian Pillman (WCW/NWA Tag Champion) vs. Arn Anderson

Pre-Match Thoughts: Nice to see that this feud is going to continue in some fashion. The alignment is a bit strange to me, though. Usually I’d expect Pillman to be the babyface and Arn the heel. Wonder how the match will go as a result of this. This match also may be the wrong date. Apparently Ric Flair and Steve Austin are banned from ringside.

Match Review: Pillman stalls for a little bit, but eventually he kicks Arn and goes to work with some chops. Arn then comes back with his own kicks and punches, which hurt Pillman and cause him to stall again. Pillman hits Arn with a back elbow, then Arn gets up for an atomic drop that sends Pillman to the outside. Pillman acts like he’s going to leave, but he won’t. Arn goes to a headlock when Pillman gets back in there, then misses a charge to the corner and Pillman rams him into the buckle. Pillman follows with a jawbreaker, but Arn picks him up and drops him throat-first on the top rope. Arn then catapults Pillman into the bottom rope, hurting his throat again. Pillman comes back by raking Arn’s eyes with the top rope, then winds up on the apron after a missed charge and Arn knocks him down and into the railing. Pillman throws a cup of water in Arn’s eyes in response, then he clips Arn’s knee out as we go to a commercial.

Back from that commercial, Pillman is in the middle of going up to the second rope, and gets booted in the face on the way down. Pillman takes Arn down with a double leg anyway, and follows up with a back suplex that gets 2. Pillman resorts to biting, then pops Arn with another back elbow for 2. Pillman uses a stepover toe-hold, and makes fun of the Four Horsemen while doing so. Arn kicks him away, then goes for a backdrop only for Pillman to drop him with a facebuster. Pillman applies a FIGURE-FOUR on Arn, but he’s able to reverse it. Pillman pokes him in the eye and goes up top, but Arn slams him down. Arn clobbers Pillman in the corner for a while, and drops him with the SPINEBUSTER. THE PHOTOGRAPHER RAN IN THE RING. OH NO. IT’S STEVE AUSTIN! He wallops Arn with a camera, and takes a picture with it as the show ends.

My Thoughts: Based on the commentary after the match, it would seem that this occured before the Clash, but I don’t care enough to go back and edit things. Anyway, this was just fine although it doesn’t seem right for Arn Anderson to be a babyface. Can’t really explain why. He didn’t have that big offensive flurry to go to when it was that time in the match, that wasn’t his usual routine. It’s a bit weird. **1/2.

– Taped to air July 3rd, 1993, on WCW Saturday Night, from the Civic Center in Lake Charles, Louisiana

Barry Windham (NWA Champion) and the Hollywood Blonds (WCW/NWA Tag Team Champions) vs. Paul Roma, Arn Anderson, and Ric Flair

Pre-Match Thoughts: Now this is neat. At least they actually decided to use the Four Horsemen concept on TV, otherwise it would have been absolutely pointless. Speaking of pointless, one name in this match totally does not belong, but we’re going to pretend like it does. Expecting a great match here, with Flair doing a lot of shtick. One can hope. This is weird, they taped this before Flair’s return, so I guess fans at the TV taping got to see Flair wrestle before the rest of the country.

Match Review: Windham and Flair start this one, and Flair is going to do some shtick. Excellent. They lock up, and Windham knocks Flair down with a shoulderblock. Flair and Windham then trade punches, with Flair getting the better of them and backdropping Windham. Windham comes back with a hard elbow, and tags in Pillman who chops away at Flair for a while. Flair returns the favor, then Arn and Austin tag in. Austin goes to work after a knee, then misses a charge to the corner and Flair walks in there to thumb him in the eye. Austin comes back with an atomic drop on Arn, but they collide with each other shortly afterward. Arn heads up top, but Austin hits him to crotch him on the top rope. After that, Austin tries a superplex, but Arn blocks it and throws him down. Roma makes a tag in there, and slaps a headlock on Windham. Windham back suplexes him, but the headlock stays on anyway until Windham slaps him. Roma knocks him down with some big rights, then tags in Flair for big chops. Windham throws Flair upside down into the corner and out of the ring, and then they fight on the floor. Windham rams Flair into the rail, and it’s time for a commercial.

After that commercial, Flair was just crawling back to the apron. Of course, Windham picks him up and suplexes him back in for 2. Windham then goes for the SUPERPLEX, and is able to do it this time for 2. Austin makes a tag in to face off with Flair, but now everyone’s in the ring! Pillman does something with his towel, and Austin cuts Flair off from tagging with a bodyslam that gets 2. Pillman makes another tag in and hits Flair with more chops, until getting poked in the eye. Pillman then grabs Flair by the hair and tags out, with Windham then powerslamming Flair. Austin tags back in and covers for 2, then he picks Flair up and slams him. Austin misses an elbow drop, so Flair’s finally able to tag out. Arn drops Austin with a SPINEBUSTER for 2, and Flair throws Windham over the top. Now Arn gets clotheslined from behind by Austin, who tags in Pillman again. Windham tags in for a DDT, which also gets 2. Austin tags back in and misses his leapfrog body guillotine, so the repeat their Clash sequence with Arn clotheslining Austin instead. The heels then triple-team Arn for a bit, but Flair runs over there to stop it. Arn has Austin rolled up, but with the referee breaking the other fight up, no count is made. Pillman tags in and goes to the second rope, coming down with nothing and getting booted in the face. Arn doesn’t make the tag just yet, because Windham comes in there for an inverted atomic drop. Windham drops a knee on Arn next, but Arn pops him with a knee. Still, Arn can’t tag out. Windham suplexes him for 2, and Flair gets angry over the punishment. He taunts Windham into not paying attention, and Arn gets in some punches as a result. A jawbreaker follows that, then Arn drops him with a super sloppy neckbreaker. Flair makes the big tag in and comes off the top with a double axehandle on Windham, then beats him up in the corner. Flair chops Windham down, then back suplexes him. Now he locks on the FIGURE-FOUR, and everyone gets in the ring for a fight. Windham throws the referee out of the ring for a disqualification after about 20 minutes, and Flair refuses to let go of the figure-four until the Horsemen are standing tall.

My Thoughts: It’s funny to see this match. The absolute first thing I noticed is that Paul Roma was hardly in the match at all. Means to me that they didn’t respect his ability or think that he even had very much of it. Kind of feel bad for him. Roma in the Horsemen could have worked but he was never given an opportunity to show any skill. Maybe if he’d been put over strong, it would have worked better. The wrestling here was good, with Arn and Flair both taking turns in the heat segment. I thought Flair’s was better, and this match was just about equal to the Clash match. It was long enough that there should have been a finish, but they didn’t want to give anything away. ***.

– Taped to air July 10th, 1993, on Worldwide, from the Civic Center in Lake Charles, Louisiana

Big Van Vader (WCW Champion, w/Harley Race) vs. The British Bulldog

Pre-Match Thoughts: I have absolutely no idea why they’d do this on television, but I’m totally okay with it because it means I get to watch their match. Really doesn’t make any sense to me, though. Bulldog wasn’t a big fixture of the television programming and didn’t get to work with a lot of different opponents while he was in WCW, which sucks.

Match Review: Vader uses a distraction from Race, and attacks Bulldog from behind to start the match. Vader levels Bulldog with a clothesline, then clobbers him in the corner for a while. Vader then tries to throw Bulldog into Race, but instead Bulldog throws Vader into his manager. Bulldog then monkey flips Vader, clotheslines him, and drops him with a bodyslam. Vader tries to leave ringside, but Bulldog gives chase, picks him up, and drops him on the railing!

After a commercial, we come back with Bulldog laid out on the floor. Race gets some stomps in on him, and when Bulldog gets back in the ring, Vader crushes him with a splash in the corner. Vader drops a big elbow on Bulldog, then squashes him with a VADER BOMB. WHO’S THE MAN? Vader hits Bulldog with that standing splash from the second rope, then suplexes him without going to the canvas. Interesting. Vader goes to the second rope again, but this time Bulldog powerslams him! Vader then tosses Bulldog into the corner and he lands on his neck, then Race measures Bulldog for a shot to the throat. Looks like it was with a pen. Vader then tries to block a sunset flip with a butt splash, and Bulldog moves out of the way. Bulldog crucifixes Vader over for 2, then Race is on the apron again as Bulldog’s cross body gets 2. Vader goes for another suplex, but instead Bulldog reverses to his own. He clotheslines Vader after that, then dropkicks him. Now Race is on the apron AGAIN, and Davey slams him into the ring and causes Vader to splash his own manager. Out from the back comes Sid Vicious for the disqualification at 8:40, and the MASTERS OF THE POWERBOMB ARE GONNA BEAT BULLDOG UP. HERE COMES STING TO MAKE THE SAVE!

My Thoughts: This was such a typical Vader match, but the thing is, the formula just works. It’s hard to believe that was only 8:40, they sure did a LOT in that time frame. I never get tired of watching Vader matches because it’s always a great exhibition of athletic ability and crowd manipulation. The crowd really got behind the Bulldog here. Even though WCW was overusing this run-in DQ finish with a partner coming out to make the save, it doesn’t bother me yet. ***. Don’t really need to see this if you’ve seen the Slamboree match.

– Taped to air July 10th, 1993, on WCW Saturday Night, from Center Stage Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia

Steve Austin (WCW/NWA Tag Team Champion) vs. Paul Roma

Pre-Match Thoughts: They really should have had Roma have a match like this far sooner, but WCW’s idiotic taping schedule made that impossible. The taping schedule would only get worse too. I can’t wait to talk about that at the end of this article. Roma definitely had something working against him, he was given the nickname of…”Pretty.” Come on.

Match Review: Austin pokes Roma in the eye, then rams him into the buckle as we start things. Austin throws Roma hard into the corner, then drops him with a back suplex. Austin talks some trash at Roma, then puts him in position for a superplex only for Roma to block it and knock him down. Roma flies off the top with a missile dropkick, then backdrops Austin. Roma rams Austin into the apron as Austin makes him give chase around the ring, then Roma backdrops Austin on the floor. He throws Austin back in and hits him with a forearm from the top, which gets 2. Austin then pulls Roma out to the floor and tries to slam him, but Roma falls on top instead. Austin comes back by throwing Roma into the rail, then hits Roma with a double axehandle from the apron. Austin slams Roma when they get back in the ring, but misses an elbow smash and gets cradled up for a Roma victory at 4:56. After the bout, Brian Pillman runs out for a double team on Roma, but Arn Anderson saves his buddy.

My Thoughts: Like I said, this should have been done sooner. One thing I don’t understand is that they never really explained why the Horsemen chose Roma nor does it appear that they ever cared to explain. Feels like a mistake of some sort. Anyway, this set up the tag title match at Beach Blast where Roma and Anderson faced Pillman and Austin. **.

BEACH BLAST MINI MOVIE

If you haven’t seen this before, I feel so sorry for you. Whoever decided to make this should have been fired immediately. That being said, this is awesome. I don’t even know how to put this into words. Vader and Sid had offered for Sting and Davey to retire before getting punished at Beach Blast. Instead they didn’t and this was the result. Can’t quite put into words how dumb Sid and Vader looked wearing their wrestling gear on a beach. The exploding boat was way too much. Like, whoever thought that was smart…I don’t even know.

I think that’s a good way to leave things, I know they aired the video much sooner than that but it seemed like a perfect way to close things out. The most important news come the end of this was that of the TV tapings where they taped some syndicated TV all the way through November. In those tapings, they gave away the results of every single big main event match that they were going to run over the next few months. At the time this was considered to be a super big deal as well as being super stupid. It locked them into every single storyline! WCW executives thought this was a great idea and that’s why things continued. Next, I have a LOT of WWF matches to watch.

Best: I liked Bulldog and Vader slightly more than the six man tag.

Worst: Lack of quality. WCW really sucked.

Written by Sage Cortez

Sage is a boisterous Los Angeles sports fan. Unsurprisingly, like many other loudmouth LA fans, he also likes the Raiders and a range of combat sports.