It’s about time that Ted Turner’s precious baby got some attention. It’s 20th of June 1992, and we’re at the Civic Centre of sunny Mobile, Alabama, for WCW’s Beach Blast! Cowabunga! Tubular! Radical!
While you could pretty much put the description ahead of any moment in the company’s history, the summer of 1992 was an interesting time for WCW. The less-than-inspiring reign of Jim Herd as Company President was over, and his permanent replacement was “Cowboy” Bill Watts, encountered on this series already back in entry #3. With Watts’ background in the industry, it was hoped that WCW could move beyond the fractious backstage politics and the attempts to ape the WWF style of doing things that had dominated Herd’s tenure. But it was not to be. Watts almost immediately ruffled feathers by attempting to turn back the clock to the halcyon days of the 70’s, with the banning of ringside brawling, weapons and, worst of all, top-rope moves. Backstage, costs were cut, personnel rules regarding fraternisation of faces and heels were enforced and basically every foot that could have been stepped on was stepped on. A lot of that was to come though, with Beach Blast being only Watt’s second big show in his position.
We open with a basic animation, complete with freaky arm coming out of the ocean, summing up the card. The first thing noted is, sigh, a bikini contest to crown “the first lady of “double-ya-see-double-ya” (that’s also one of only two events mentioned on the VHS release cover). Your main event tonight will be a Tag Title match, with the Steiner Brothers defending against “Dr Death” Steve Williams and Terry Gordy.
Tony Schiavone and young Eric Bischoff, in an atrocious Hawaiian shirt, introduce us to the Civic Centre amid actual pyro, which I’m sure Bill Watts wasn’t happy about. Watts is introduced, and gives a stuttering promo running down the card, comparing the old days of the Junior Heavyweight Championship with the current Light Heavyweight Championship (“they’re lighter” he helpfully explains). Further, the 30-minute Iron Man match scheduled between Ricky Steamboat and Rick Rude will see managers/valets banned from ringside, so no Madusa or Paul. E. Dangerously for you, in that match anyway. Oh, and the Falls Count anywhere match will see falls count anywhere. Thanks Bill!
We get thrown to our commentary team for the evening, Jim “This shirt looks like I throw up on it before the show” Ross and Jesse “currently a Mayor of a city in Minnesota” Ventura, who gets his own entrance here. The ramp stage is set-up with bikini-clad women and actual sand to go with the fake palm trees. The ladies escort Mayor Ventura to his desk while Ross tries to plug a later PPV show. Crowd is hot for the start of this. After Ventura’s typically bombastic intro, we go to our first contest.
Flyin’ Brian (c) vs Scotty Flamingo (WCW Light Heavyweight Championship)
Flyin Brian is, of course, Brian Pillman and his opponent tonight is the future Raven, currently working a dumbass surfer gimmick that screams Jim Herd. The Light Heavyweight division is a precursor of the cruiserweight’s who would make a big impression from 1996 onwards, but Watts had little time for it, hence the asinine top-rope ban that basically killed the division, with the title retired only a few months after this show.
Flamingo is your heel, taunting the crowd early on to boos. Hold and lock exchanges, with a lengthy hammerlock on the mat. Ventura fills the time by being annoyed that he isn’t MC-ing the bikini contest, that honour going to Johnny B. Badd. Pillman hits the first big spot of the night, a crucifix pin into a sunset-flip, and the crowd is into that. Not long before we’re back to the mat-work though. Flamingo with a roll-up, and even with the tights can only get two. And back to the mat-work.
Pillman able to hit some sweet looking hip-tosses, but Flamingo tying himself up in the ropes at every opportunity. And back to the mat-work and rest-holds again, and God this is sad to watch. His name is “Flyin” for a reason, as he demonstrates with a rana, before Flamingo gets dumped out of the ring, followed by Pillman delivering a double axhandle. I’m sure Watts is fuming. Back in the ring, Pillman goes to the top, with JR screaming that it’ll be a disqualification if he hits a move, and Flamingo is able to send him to the mat, which is apparently fine. Pillman thrown to the outside now, and Raven hits a dive. No padding on the floor, so that must hurt. Things have picked up suddenly.
A PA reminds the crowd that there are twenty minutes left, and I don’t remember them even announcing a time-limit at the start. Flamingo now firmly in control, until Pillman springboards a crossbody. I’m surprised Cowboy Bill didn’t call for the bell there. It’s been a few minutes since a rest-hold, so Flamingo obliges. Rope-assisted submissons from Flamingo when the ref isn’t looking, but at the end of the day these are still cruiserweights sitting on the mat. Finally back to their feet for some faster-paced stuff, with Pillman dodging out of the way of a corner charge. And then back to a chinlock on the mat. The big comeback see’s Pillman put on a sleeper-hold, and are you kidding me?
Two consecutive stereo rises to beat a ten-count because this match is just too exciting. Flamingo goes for an axhandle off the second rope, because that’s legal, but walks into a drop-kick. Spinning Savate Kick puts Pillman in control, and corner shots to the head gets the crowd excited. Flamingo counters a charge into a spinning slam, for a near-fall. Flamingo taunts the crowd from the turnbuckle, allowing Brian to hit a German Suplex, but the count is broken by a rope-break. Pillman with a facebuster, then a Cactus Clothesline to the elevated rampway. Pillman goes for the dive but nobody home. When Pillman crawls back into the ring he gets hit by a second rope knee-strike to the head, and that’s the 1, 2, 3 in around 19 minutes.
Winner (and new WCW Light Heavyweight Champion): Scotty Flamingo, who would find a better bird-name eventually.
Verdict: A near twenty-minute cruiserweight match that was nearly ten minutes of mat-wrestling and rest-holds. What a waste of these two guys, neither of whom would stick around for much longer.
We’re moving on quick to the first of three (three!) “situations for these ladies” as Ross amazingly puts it: it’s the bikini contest! Johnny B. Badd out to MC, and future Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura suggests that Badd is the wrong choice because “I don’t think he even likes girls”. This is bad enough Mr Mayor, lets stray away from that line. The contest is going to be decided by a phone vote, because the hotline wasn’t a thing yet.
Badd does his usual thing, and wants the folks in Mobile to be ready for “the greatest bikini contest of all time”. He explains that there will be an evening gown round, a swimming suit round (this gets a pop) and then finally a bikini round. Apparently your only contestants are the beloved Missy Hyatt and the disliked Madusa. NFB Watches Wrestling Connections: Hyatt was once married to “Hot Stuff” Eddie Gilbert, featured prominently in entry #3. Anyway, Hyatt comes out in a nice dress, Madusa in something that looks like a wedding dress. Missy is cheered, Madusa booed, and let’s not belabour this.
JR plugs The Great American Bash again, where Sting defends the WCW Title against Big Van Vader. Schiavone and Bischoff introduce our next contest. Bischoff says Terrence Taylor is psyched up, while Schiavone wonders if Ron Simmons will be distracted after getting the key to the city in Tallahassee, where he once played college football, earlier today.
Ron Simmons vs Terrence Taylor
The Taylor Made Man, who I think is an NXT trainer nowadays, out first dressed in a fancy suit. The “All-American” Ron Simmons out wearing awful lime green tights. No context for this match at all. We open with some strength duelling, that Simmons wins easily, with Taylor claiming his ponytail is being pulled. From a few three-point stances Simmons floors Taylor repeatedly, leading Taylor to throw Simmons to the outside. Simmons responds by press-slamming Taylor back into the ring, before clotheslining him out.
Is this a squash? Simmons chucking Taylor around at will, then a lengthy bear hug, then more chucking. Taylor finally gets a break by dodging another tackle, that sends Simmons out again. Taylor enjoying his time on offence by playing to the crowd, then some basic strikes and snaps. Time for a rest-hold, and you know, I guess we are meant to be at the beach, so why not relax? A backbreaker for two, but even with Taylor on top Simmons’ over-emphasised kick-outs continue to make him look powerful. Simmons hits a Spinebuster, that JR calls a Sidewalk Slam. You’re not in AEW yet Jim. Speaking of, Ross hasn’t stopped talking about college “footbaw” all match.
Anyway, we’re back to Simmons throwing Taylor around at will, and a spinning bodyslam is enough to end it in just over seven.
Winner: Ron Simmons, and all fans of FSU football.
Verdict: Basically an extended squash. Simmons looked great, and he’d be World Champion before the end of the year, deservedly so, but this match was forgettable.
JR interviews Simmons afterwards, and in the spirit of giving the first-time viewer no context, says “I know you’ve got big problems with Harley Race and the Super Invader”, and I’ve never head of this feud and I really want to know who “the Super Invader” is. Simmons says he aims to be the best all the time, and thinks anyone can be the best regardless of race, “poverty level” or anything else, “if they got the guts”. Interesting stance. There’s debate on how much a lot of people in WCW at the time would have agreed. Anyway, straight onto our next contest.
Greg Valentine vs Marcus Alexander Bagwell
Man, the future Buff “The Stuff” Bagwell looked very different back then. The Hammer, who has been in better shape, really looks like he’s doing a Ric Flair cosplay. No context for this one either. It takes Ross five seconds to start talking about Bagwell’s high school athletic record.
Bagwell on top initially with some slams, body drops and drop-kicks. After a brief powder-taking Valentine takes over with chops and strikes. Goes for the elbow-drop off the second rope but nobody home, but still on offence a few seconds later. Nothing special from Valentine really. Bagwell powers out of a Figure-Four, and when Valentine tries again its reversed into a roll-up for two. Sloppy spot where Bagwell reverses a body slam attempt into another roll-up, but Valentine struggles to get him up.
Commentary playing up Bagwell big-time as he gets a few near-falls off roll-ups, despite an injured leg. That leg prevents him from really getting any momentum, and after a knee-drop Valentine locks in the Figure-Four. With enough time for him to look tough Bagwell submits in around seven minutes and change.
Winner: Greg Valentine and Nature Boy enthusiasts everywhere.
Verdict: Valentine looked real run-down next to Bagwell, who carried 90% of this. Pretty worthless match.
The bell has barely stopped ringing and we’re onto the intro for the next match, which is the Falls Count Anywhere (on the Gulf Coast as they repeatedly add, in case the wrestlers decide to hop on a train or something) contest. A few months ago Cactus Jack had the same match with Van Hammer, that ended up outside the arena, with Mrs Foley’s baby boy picking up the win after a shovel strike. No context given for tonight’s match, which involves the WCW Champion.
Cactus Jack vs Sting (Falls Count Anywhere (On The Gulf Coast)) (non-title)
Jack out in drab colours to the funeral march, which I don’t remember. Ross don’t like him. Cactus waits on the ramp for Sting, who gets a big pop from the crowd when he arrives. Brawling on the ramp to start. Sting like a house on fire with a Crucifix Pin for two, then a back body-drop, then an unnamed Famouser for two. Jack takes the advantage and dumps Sting to the concrete ringside. Follows up with a sore looking neckbreaker for two.
Cactus with a sunset flip attempt from the apron where his feet bashes off the ringside barricade. Sting dumps Jack into the crowd, and delivers a suplex to the concrete, but only two. Back to the ringside area. “I have never seen anything like this” says JR, and just wait for what Mick Foley is going to show you Jim. For now he hits Sting with a spinning clothesline back inside the ring to take the advantage, and we go to some rest-holds. Sting battles out after a breather, but then gets nailed with a Cactus Clothesline to the outside, and no-one could do them like Cactus Jack. “It’s World Championship Wrestling, but this match is called World Championship Street Fight” interjects Ventura, who hadn’t said anything for a while.
Jack takes a chair and gives Sting a gut-shot and a few hits to the back. “Bang, bang” from “the craziest man in wrestling”. Jack looking to inflict more punishment, but Sting lands a reverse suplex OUTTANOWHERE. Duelling pinning predicaments on the outside, followed by Cactus countering the Stinger Splash, flapjacking Sting in the barricade. This is brilliant stuff. Jack goes for the piledriver but his knee gives out, sparing Sting. Cactus to the second rope, but nobody home on an elbow drop to the concrete. Have I mentioned that the crowd is rocking for this?
Back to the ramp, with Sting on top. Scoop Slam to the ramp, and Sting grabs a chair for a few shots of his own, but Cactus keeps standing back-up. Eventually Sting gets him down with a shot to the leg, but when he goes for the Scorpion Deathlock Jack counters Sting off the ramp. Jack with the Double-Arm DDT for two. Sting with a clothesline that flattens Jack, then to the top-rope (shock, horror) for a flying clothesline, and that’s the 1, 2, 3 in nearly eleven and a half minutes.
Winner: Sting, this crowd, me.
Verdict: Brilliant match, where both guys were doing daring, inventive, and frequently very sore-looking stuff on the outside. Both made to look great, but especially Foley, who can do unexpectedly athletic stuff for a guy his size.
Back to Schivone and Bischoff, to introduce the Iron Man match. Bischoff thinks Rick Rude has the advantage in weight, but the elongated match-length means Steamboat will have the advantage. So, they cancel each other out then? Bischoff as a sports analyst doesn’t work for me. They’d be better off explaining why this match is happening. Anyway.
Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat vs “Ravishing” Rick Rude (30-Minute Iron Man Match) (non-title)
For whatever reason Rude’s US Title is not on the line here. He’s on the mike early to run down the crowd, and show off his abs. Steamboat out with his wife and son, to a surprisingly muted reception. And away we go, with the clock on-screen for all you’re “making Royal Rumble noises” desires.
Steamboat with a gutbuster right from the off, before he’s even had a chance to take off his top. Ventura very annoyed, claiming Steamboat used his son to distract Rude. The Dragon focusing on the ribs with a bear hug, Steamboat well on top, then applies a knee press to the ribs. Thumb to the eye from Rude, but Steamboat stays on top with a Boston Crab. That lasts nearly 90 seconds before Rude gets to the ropes, so we’re killing time early. Steamboat lands a splash to the back, then a few knee strikes. “He’s like Dr No and the Goldfinger…in the James Bond movies” says Ventura, showcasing how firmly his finger is on the pulse. 24 minutes to go.
Apparently this match comes from Rude making some comments about the Goldfinger’s (OK, I’ll stop) family, or something. Be nice if they actually went more into that. Now seven minutes into Steamboat’s offence, which continues with a delay suplex into a facebuster. Goes for a cover off a Karate Chop for two. Then, from nothing, Rude gets his foot up to block a corner charge, then a cover with the tights and it’s a 1, 2, 3 at 7.42. 1-0 Rude. Rude right back on offence. Hits the Rude Awakening for a second pin in 8.39. 2-0 Rude. Crowd seem like they’re dying a bit, but come roaring back. Rude slams Steamboat, goes to the top rope and hits a knee drop on the head. As per Watts’ new regime, that’s a DQ, in around 9.45. 2-1 Rude. Rude gets Steamboat up, then a roll-up for another pin in 10.11 3-1 Rude. I recall Triple H pulling that same kind of stunt in an Iron Man match with The Rock.
Steamboat coming back now with strikes and chops, but Rude counters with a head slam to the mat. Rude goes for the Rude Awakening, then seems to change his mind and locks in a Camel Clutch instead, which lasts a while. Rude tries to do his gyrating, but his ribs are in too much trouble. More knee-strikes, because that is the story of the match, and back into the Camel Clutch. “Steamboat” chants. The Dragon battles out of it into an Electric Chair position, and effects the drop. Goes for the splash again, but Rude got the knees up. Rude with a swinging neckbreaker, but only two. Rude puts in a chinlock with 15 minutes to go.
Ventura outlines that a tie in 30 minutes will stay that way, with no sudden-death for whatever reason. After a minute’s rest Steamboat back-up, but Rude remains on offence. Hits a piledriver, but for only two. Rude goes for a Tombstone, but Steamboat reverses it into his own, and man Rude is scarily low-down before this is hit. It’s enough for a 1, 2, 3 in 17.39. 3-2 Rude. Takes a while for the two to get back up and wrestling properly, and a definite feel of killing time. Rude moving to the top rope again, but Steamboat intercepts, and nails a superplex, which is legal since both men were on the top. Big delay before the cover, and it’s only good for two. Double clothesline has them both down. Ten minutes left.
Rude goes for a cover, Steamboat bridges up and reverses into a Crucifix Pin for three in 20.22. 3-3. Duelling pinning predicaments get a series of twos. Nine minutes left. Rude with another face smash, and another. Crowd rumbling behind Steamboat. Eight minutes. Big Scoop Slam from Rude, then a forearm smash for two. Steamboat rallying back with chops. Thumb to the eye again from Rude, to JR’s outrage. Seven minutes. Very slow offence from both men now. Rude applying a Camel Clutch with the help of the ropes. Less than six minutes. Rude going for the Rude Awakening once more, but Steamboat counters out, and hits his own Rude Awakening. Cover, but Rude gets a foot on the ropes at two. Five minutes left.
Steamboat hits a suplex for two, then a reverse suplex for two. Rude counters an Irish Whip and latches on a sleeper hold. Four minutes left. Steamboat very slowly fading. Three minutes left. With the crowd’s encouragement, Steamboat tries to get to the ropes, but collapses. Two minutes left. Ref checking if Steamboat is able to continue, nothing doing yet. Last minute. Steamboat rallies back, uses the ropes for the leverage to knock Rude on his back, hook the leg and that’s a 1, 2, 3 in 29.26. 4-3 Steamboat. Crowd explodes. Frantic ending now making up for the slowness of the last three minutes. Rude up quick, hits a clotheslines for two. 20 seconds. A knockdown for two. And another, for two again. 10 seconds. Inside cradle for two. Scoop Slam for two. And that’s 30.
Winner (4-3): Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat
Verdict: Had its slow sections for sure, but actually a really well put together Iron Man. The ending was brilliantly done, and made up for a three-minute sleeper hold spot.
We get two seconds of seeing The Dragon celebrate and then it’s straight onto the second round of the bikini contest. No chance of a bathroom break here. This is the swimsuit round. Madusa, “a psycho mama” says Johnny B. Badd, is wearing a black swimsuit. Missy Hyatt is wearing a blue bikini, which I think is cheating as bikini’s aren’t supposed to be until the next round. Bill Watts should launch an inquiry. Anyway, Madusa is booed, Missy Hyatt is cheered, and let’s just move on.
Another plug for the Great American Bash, and then onto our penultimate match.
Barry Windham, Dustin Rhodes and Nikita Koloff vs The Dangerous Alliance (Arn Anderson, Beautiful Bobby and “Stunning” Steve Austin) w/ Paul E. Dangerously
Austin with hair on his head instead of his face will never get less weird to see. This is a continuation of a long-standing feud that’s a big part of WCW right now. Austin starting with Windham, and hilarious to hear Heyman going “Woah, woah, woah” when his star-man eats a suplex. Dustin Rhodes, also with more hair than I remember, levels Austin with a drop-kick, and in comes Bobby. Anderson in, and calls out Koloff specifically. Anderson to the top, but gets talked down by the ref, to the delight of no one. “It’s going to take some adjusting” says Ventura about the new rules, and that’s what you want to hear watching pro-wrestling. “Some sports-writers have criticised the new rules, but they just don’t understand” says JR. Oh, I understand just fine. Koloff dumps Anderson over the top-rope, which should be a DQ, but Koloff is a face so nothing doing.
Anderson and Bobby trying to double team Koloff, but the Lithuanian clearing house. Paul. E tries to get his men onside, telling them to go for “Plan No. 2” now. That plan seems to be Anderson getting thrown around by a super-greasy looking Windham. You have to appreciate Dangerously’s energy at ringside, screaming at his guys and slamming the mat. Anderson takes over on offence for a bit, but Windham able to make a tag, and things break down pretty quickly.
In the confusion Austin and Rhodes become the legal men, with Rhodes as the face-in-peril for a bit. We take a minute to zoom out from the action to plug the bikini contest phone line. Madusa is up by 51% apparently, yeah right. Gotta get the marks to give up their pennies. Meanwhile the wrestling continues with Rhodes getting beaten down and rest-holded into oblivion, with Austin sending him spinning with a huge clothesline. The ref – Ole Anderson by the way – seems to count three on that, but they say it was two-and-a-half. With Rhodes down suffering an armbar, Ventura says “He’s shouting ‘Daddy, Daddy, come same me!”. Uh huh. Rhodes trying to make a comeback, but can’t get out of Resthold City. Heyman keeping me entertained though.
Eventually Rhodes gets the hot-tag to Windham, despite being hit with Austin’s “Stun-Gun”, and chaos reigns. Anderson comes off the tap, but the ref isn’t looking. Windham hits Austin with a second-rope superplex, and then Anderson comes off the top on him again. This time the ref is looking – I presume the first time was a botch – and calls for the bell in around 15 and a half minutes.
Winners: Barry Windham, Dustin Rhodes, Nikita Koloff and Bill Watts’ precious territory memories.
Verdict: What a stupid way to end a match.
Some brief brawling after the DQ but the Dangerous Alliance withdraws quick enough. Ventura abandons the commentary desk to go get involved with the bikini contest.
Ricky Steamboat is with Bischoff. The Dragon thanks the fans, calling the match “his finest hour”. Alright, steady-on Ricky, Wrestlemania III was only a few years ago. Say’s he’ll be coming after Rude’s US Title. Dangerously interrupts to say Steamboat’s had his chances at the US Title, and suddenly Cactus Jack attacks from behind! A break apart brawl follows, presumably setting something up for the next show.
Time to finish up the bikini contest, and Ventura is on the stage saying he’s taking charge. Some awkward verbal sparring between the Body and Badd, before Madusa comes out. She is wearing a bikini and doesn’t look super thrilled by all of this. Missy Hyatt’s can’t come out, because someone has stolen her bikini! What a twist! Ventura, sans scarves so Badd can marvel at his bald head, says Madusa must be considered the winner. Hyatt comes out with a bikini made from Ventura’s scarves, and what the hell is happening? Enough of this nonsense, we’re just going to move on a few minutes to our main event.
Schiavone and Bischoff to introduce the Tag Title match, but not before repeating the basic facts of Cactus Jack attacking Steamboat. Not sure why the two are even here tonight.
The Steiner Brothers (Scott and Rick) (c) vs “Dr Death” Steve Williams and Terry “Bam Bam” Gordy (WCW Tag Team Championship)
Ross says the Steiners have beaten all-comers “like a step-child” and isn’t that just a sad idiom. There’s over a half-hour to go, so I’m guessing this goes to a time limit draw. Scott and Gordy to start. We go through a few minutes of Greco-Roman, and the crowd isn’t super into it. Then slaps exchanged, and suddenly the crowd is very into it. Ventura is happy to get into pro-wrestling style, but then we’re right back to amateur stuff.
It’s really slow, and not terribly entertaining. A sunset flip from Scott gets two, and from there it’s a headlock for a minute. The crowd finally wakes up when Rick gets tagged in with Williams. Still very slow. “Both teams still feeling each other out” says Ventura, but we’re over five minutes in. Rick Steiner suddenly nails a belly-to-belly and things are exciting again for a few seconds. Then a “Steinerline” sends Williams down for a big reaction from the crowd.
Gordy and Williams take over on offence as the announcement of twenty minutes left comes over the PA. Things get taken to the outside, but it isn’t any faster out there. Rick almost gets the three on a sudden sunset-flip, but remains the face-in-peril. Gordy with a half-Boston Crab for a lengthy submission spot. Then a spinning toe-hold after some interference from Williams. Then Steiner gets out of it and is able to hit a belly-to-back, and gets a mild-tag to Scott, who is in hot for maybe 15 seconds before we’re back to the technical stuff, only it’s the Steiners on top. This is shockingly dull stuff for a main event.
Scott becomes the face-in-peril for a bit. That kind of doubling up of the face-in-peril/hot-tag dynamic is something I’ve seen numerous promotions do, most especially NXT, but it needs to be more high-octane to really work. 15 minutes to go as Williams puts Scott in a chinlock. The heels take turns putting Scott in numerous holds and locks, with the crowd occasionally trying to pump him up. On and on we go, with only Rick Steiner’s break-up of a pin to break-up the monotony.
Some brief attempts at a comeback run into more Boston Crab’s. Ten minutes to go. Eventually Scott manages to power out and get a tag, and since the ref isn’t looking the commentators think this is going to be a missed tag spot, but the ref decides to just allow it anyway, so here is your hot tag, which involves a sloppy back body drop where Williams falls awkwardly and leads JR to dub it “a modified powerslam”.
Rick’s clearing of house lasts only a short time before the heels take over on offence again. Gordy hits an assisted power-slam on Rick from the second rope, but because he never got tagged he can’t get the pin, and the delay means Rick kicks out at two from Williams. Crowd suddenly very loud. Now commencing a third face-in-peril section, and there are mercifully only five minutes left. The heels start trying a few more high-impact moves, like reverse suplexes, and going for pins, but nothing doing. Four minutes left.
Lengthy chinlock spot, because we’re ending as we started. Three minutes left. Williams hits a powerbomb for two. A front face-lock. Two minutes left. Crowd getting hyped with the finish near. Williams rams Steiner into the turnbuckle, but Rick fights back with a Steinerline. Gordy tagged in, and he eats a Steinerline too. One minute left. Rick tags Scott in. They play this up like its an exciting finish, but as the Steiners retain with a draw, it’s not really. Back body drops for all. 30 seconds. Scoop slams for all. Clotheslines for all. 15 seconds. Double butterfly powerbomb, and Scott signals for the Frankensteiner, hits it and the time expires.
Winners: Time-limit draw, so they’re all winners. But in a much more accurate way, as they retain, the Steiners are the winners.
Verdict: Oh wow this was a bad, with at least 20 minutes of the 30 being superfluous rest and submission holds. The Steiners spent a half hour getting pushed around, and someone are the heroic tag champs. This whole thing is ass backwards: this finish should be the untelevised house show ending, before a title change or defence on PPV, but they actually handed Williams and Gordy the titles on a house show a month later.
Schiavone and Bischoff recapping the show while the arena empties. They play-up like the feud isn’t over, because of course it isn’t, but this is a still a non-finish ending to a PPV. They’re more concerned with talking about the bikini contest. JR and Ventura plug the Great American Bash again and who cares? Pyro, credits, good night.
Best Match: Gotta hand that to the Falls Count Anywhere. Sting and Foley were fantastic, the match was well-paced, and there was an inventiveness to it that I didn’t expect.
Best Wrestler: I could give this to either of Sting or Cactus Jack, but for variety I’ll actually say Rick Rude, who contributed a lot to the Iron Man, especially in his dominant phases and in that frantic last 30 seconds.
Worst Match: The main event, by a country mile. A dull, plodding overly lengthy tag match with a non-finish.
Worst Wrestler: Greg Valentine looked a bit out of shape and got the pin over a guy who carried the match.
Overall verdict: Two good matches, a few mediocre ones, and a dud of a main event. The Bill Watts era would have lower moments, but there were at least some redeeming elements to this show. Still, it doesn’t serve as a great advertisement for this portion of WCW’s history, outside of the World Title scene. Check out Cactus/Sting and the Iron Man and leave the rest.
Surprise Bonus Content: Quick thoughts on NXT Takeover: In Your House
Six-Women Tag: The typical frantic action you need as an opener. The heels could have done with a win though. Alright.
Balor/Priest: Priest looked good but really needs to string some wins together before he ends up as just another in the long list of “called to the main roster too early and disappeared” guys. Finn should be in the main event picture really. Watchable.
Lee/Gargano: No way Lee was losing when he came out wearing BLM gear, but more power to him. Some excellent spots but odd pacing towards the end. Could have been better.
Cole/Dream: Added a nice bit of variety and WWE are four for four on the cinematic matches. Championship picture left nicely open with the booking. Check it out.
Kross/Ciampa: Result never in doubt, booking made Kross look like a beast and hopefully will serve a crisis of confidence story for Ciampa. Can see Kross being fast-tracked to face Cole. Worth watching.
Flair/Ripley/Shirai – Brought the house down. Excellent fast-paced action, probably helped by the fact that the result was the hardest to call of the card. Only slightly spoiled by Shirai slamming her knee into Ripley’s head for the finish, and she has priors with crappy moonsaults. I assume Flair is headed back to the main roster.
Good show overall, but when has there ever been a bad Takeover?
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