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WCW BASH AT THE BEACH FLASHBACK REPORT (07-07-96): Hulk Hogan's NWO heel turn at the Ocean Center, Inside story on the decision, Top 10 Things - Who's in TNA 14 years later?

Oct 10, 2010 - 3:48:24 PM

WCW Bash at the Beach PPV Flashback
July 7, 1996
Top 10 Things To Know!


(1) Relevance In 2010: TNA's Bound for Glory PPV tonight takes place at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, Fla., where this PPV took place.

(2) Context: Hulk Hogan's industry-shaking heel turn to join the NWO as their "third man."

(3) Main Event: The Outsiders (Scott Hall & Kevin Nash) & Hulk Hogan fought Sting & Lex Luger & Randy Savage to a No Contest.

(4) Best Match: Rey Misterio Jr. pinned Psicosis in the opening match. (****1/4)

(5) Worst Match: Steve McMichael pinned Joe Gomez. (DUD)

(6) Ric Flair WCW PPV Special: Flair pinned Konnan in 16:00 to capture the U.S. Hvt. Title.

(7) Wrestlers Currently in WWE: Rey Mysterio, The Giant (Big Show), Dean Malenko & Arn Anderson (agents).

(8) Wrestlers/Talent Currently in TNA: Eric Bischoff, Kevin Nash, Sting, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair.

(9) WCW PPV Announcers: Tony Schiavone, Dusty Rhodes, Bobby Heenan.

(10) When You Think "WCW 1996," You Think: The Giant & Kevin Sullivan beat Chris Benoit & Arn Anderson in the semi-main event.


July 7, 1996
Daytona Beach, Fla.
Live Attendance: 8,000 (6,400 paid sellout)
Report by Wade Keller, PWTorch editor

The show opened with a wideshot of the soldout arena as fireworks shot off. Tony Schiavone, Dusty Rhodes, and Bobby Heenan opened the program. They reiterated they didn't know where Eric Bischoff was and then began a show-long discussion on the implications of the main event and mystery of who the third man would turn out to be. Rhodes even suggested they put the main event on first because the anticipation was so strong.

(1) Rey Misterio Jr. pinned Psicosis at 15:15. Mikey Tenay joined the announcing team. Heenan said Rey Jr.'s shaved head looks like Demi Moore. Tenay then gave the background of the feud as Rey Jr. armdragged Psicosis right out of the ring. At 3:00, after some early mat exchanges, Psicosis dove over the top rope ramming Rey Jr. into the guard rail. He returned to the ring and applied a cobra clutch followed by a top rope legdrop. Psicosis continued to work over Rey Jr. with traditional U.S. style offense until 6:40 when he dove at Rey Jr. when both were on the ring apron, but Rey Jr. propelled Psicosis into the air toward the ringpost. Psicosis hit his head. When he stood, Rey Jr. dove off the ring apron and hit a traditional flying head scissors. The crowd, which didn't know quite what to think early, began to take to the action. Rey Jr. re-entered the ring by hitting a springboard huricanrana roll-up for a near fall at 7:20. Rey Jr. hit a dropkick on Psicosis's knee and then began working over Psicosis's knee. At 8:40 Psicosis took Rey to the mat and applied a head scissors. Psicosis aerial hot-shotted Rey Jr. over his head and stomach-first over the top rope. Psicosis dropped Rey Jr. throat-first over the guard rail and then hit a senton (back splash) off the top rope onto the floor. Back in the ring Psicosis hit an enzugiri and then locked on a full camel clutch and ripped into Rey Jr.'s mouth for an added touch. At 12:41 Rey Jr. countered with a flip hip toss and a fantastic spinning flying head scissors reversal. Psicosis fled to the floor while Rey Jr. absorbed the cheers from the fans, some of whom were now standing. Rey Jr. then hit a springboard dropkick and a flying bodyscissors takedown from the top ringpost to the floor. After an Arabian flip splash, Rey Jr. scored a near fall. He then followed with a springboard dropkick to the back of Psicosis's head. Rey Jr. followed by hitting a twisting Asai-style senton moonsault (got that?) on Psicosis on the floor. Rey Jr. hit his leg on the guardrail in the process and sold his leg injury. Psicosis was first to struggle to his feet. When Rey Jr. springboarded back into the ring, Psicosis caught him in mid-air with an awesome powerbomb. He scored a near fall. Psicosis drove Rey Jr. upside down into the turnbuckle. He then set Rey Jr. up for a splash mountain (Razor's Edge) off the top rope, but Rey Jr. slipped in mid-air into a huricanrana roll up for the three count. As psychologically sound a match as seen in WCW this year. The fans popped big for the finish. Well paced with sound matwork, flawlessly executed highspots, convincing selling, and a well-thought-out storyline. The biggest negative was the lack of facial expressions which hurt the emotional element. Tenay did a very good job and Heenan and Rhodes showed his knowledge some respect. (****1/4)

Gene Okerlund interviewed Konnan. Although short, one of Konnan's better WCW interviews to date. Okerlund talked about Konnan being exhausted from an overnight flight from Mexico where he wrestled the night before. Konnan explained the finish of Rey Jr. vs. Psicosis.

(2) John Tenta pinned Big Bubba at 8:58 in a "Silver Dollar on a Pole" match. Tenta charged Bubba and caught an elbow at the start. Tenta, though, quickly checked Tenta out of the ring. Heenan gave away the finish saying if he were a wrestler he would have his manager climb the pole to get the sock of silver dollars. Heenan said when Tenta was born he was 187 pounds. The pole was 15 feet high and Heenan commented that the pole was just taped together. With Bubba down at ringside, Tenta began untaping the pole to bring it down when he realized he couldn't climb it. At 6:30 Bubba taped Tenta's wrist to the middle rope and beat on him. Tenta stole Bubba's scissors and cut himself loose. He then began cutting the straps holding the pole in place. Bubba knocked out Tenta and then instructed Hart to climb the pole. Hart impressively did climb the pole. A good thing he knows how to climb or this match might still be going on. Meanwhile, Tenta powerslammed Bubba. When Hart returned with the sock, Tenta grabbed it and KO'd Bubba. Although it resembled a WWF cage match (climb and fall, etc.), it was an okay match. (*1/4)

Okerlund interviewed Savage, Sting, and Luger.

(3) Diamond Dallas Page pinned Hacksaw Duggan at 5:36. Page worked his butt off to make this watchable and it was watchable. After fighting at ringside, as Duggan re-entered the ring Page kicked the rope into his crotch. Page then hit the Diamond Cutter for the win. (*)

Marshall interviewed Anderson and Benoit. Anderson put his support behind Sting, Luger, and Savage in the main event.

(4) The Nasty Boys beat The Public Enemy in a double dog collar chain match at 11:01. The match filled a slot on the card as an unhinged gimmick brawl. TPE, who once made fun off WCW for using cotton candy as a weapon, threw beach sand into the Nastys eyes and used an inflatable shark toy as a weapon. Lots of stiff chairshots otherwise. Rocco did some moves of the lifeguard stand. At 9:00 they fought into the ring for the first time. They set up a table in mid-ring, but couldn't get it to break. Sags yanked Rocco off the top rope and he flipped onto the table and bounced off of it to the mat. Rocco was the star of the match for his bumps and flying moves. Sags pinned Rocco after a weak-looking clothesline with an extended chain. Schiavone called it right in the end: "That was a mess." TPE beat up Nastys afterward. (**)

(5) Dean Malenko beat Disco Inferno via submission at 12:04 to retain the Cruiserweight Title. Dean slapped Disco before the bell and threw him out of the ring. He whipped him into the railing and ringpost. Dean hit a brainbuster suplex at 1:30 for barely a two count. He then went to some mat work. Disco sold it well. Dean remained in control until 5:45 when Disco dropped Dean's neck over the top rope. Dean took over a minute later and returned to submission holds. At 10:00 Disco surprised Dean with a neckbreaker for a two count. Disco had Dean down a couple more times, but danced before going for the cover. They did some more near falls back and forth before Dean applied the Texas Cloverleaf. Afterward Disco said, "That's the one hold I can't get out of." The surprise of the night. (***1/4)

Okerlund interviewed Kimberly as a vehicle to plug the beach towels.

(6) Steve McMichael pinned Joe Gomez at 6:44. McMichael tried, but was clearly green, especially not showing a sense of where he was in the ring at times. Not good. (DUD)

Okerlund interviewed Flair, Woman, and Liz. An uncomfortably long segment. As Woman made passes at Gene, he made reference to pole vaulting competitions.

(7) Ric Flair pinned Konnan at 15:42 to capture the U.S. Hvt. Title. At 6:00 Konnan dove off the ring apron and shoulder tackled both Flair and Liz. Seconds later Woman shook Konnan off the top rope. Flair then took over offense. Woman kicked Konnan low while Flair distracted the ref. Konnan made a comeback at 10:30 and applied the figure-four at 12:30. In the end Woman KO'd Konnan with her shoe and Flair put his feet on the top rope for leverage during the pin. An awkward mix of wrestlers with two very different styles. There wasn't much chemistry. Just okay. (**)

(8) The Giant & Kevin Sullivan beat Chris Benoit & Arn Anderson when Giant pinned Arn at 7:58. As Benoit and Arn approached the ring, Sullivan and Giant jumped Arn. McMichael came out with his briefcase, so Giant chased him to the back. Arn and Benoit overwhelmed Sullivan. Sullivan tagged Giant for the first time at 6:55. Benoit then dragged Sullivan to the beach set while Giant chokeslammed Arn for the win in the ring. After the match, Benoit dragged Sullivan back to the ring and suplexed him off the top rope. Woman then came to the ring and called off Benoit, saying, "Stop, you're gonna hurt him." Apparently they're giving clues of Woman's real life marriage to Sullivan. When Giant returned to the ring, Benoit left with Woman. Giant carried Sullivan on his shoulders back to the locker room. (*1/2)

(9) Scott Hall & Kevin Nash & Hulk Hogan fought Sting & Lex Luger & Randy Savage to a no contest at 16:00. Hall and Luger began. Diesel splashed Diesel, knocking out Luger in the process, at 0:45. Luger was stretchered. Sting let loose on Hall at 3:45 for a pop. When Savage tagged in at 4:00, Hall and Nash took over offense. Savage tagged to Sting, who sold for Hall and Nash the rest of the match. Sting made his comeback at 14:10 and hot-tagged Savage. Savage cleaned house, which got a pop, although not as big as you'd expect since fans were still wondering who the Third Man was. At 15:10 Nash low-blowed Savage. Hogan then made his way to the ring and after ripping off his shirt as the fans cheered, he legdropped Savage. Hogan threw ref Randy Anderson out of the ring. After another legdrop Hall counted as Hogan pinned Savage. Sting helped Savage to the back as the New World Order celebrated in the ring. When a fan ran into the ring, Nash nailed him with an elbow. The fan dropped to the mat and Hall and Nash kicked his limp body out of the ring. The match served its purpose very well but without the storyline would have been just okay. (**1/2)


PWTorch Cover Story
By Wade Keller, Torch editor

Hulk Hogan did what many thought would never happen, and some WCW officials feared he wouldn't do even up until a few seconds before he legdropped Randy Savage - he turned heel. The turn answered the most anticipated question in years in pro wrestling - who would the third man turn out to be at the July 7 WCW Bash at the Beach pay-per-view?

The deal had been slated for many weeks, but not finalized until a few days before the angle occurred. And even a week or two before the angle, WCW was searching for possible backup plans. Hogan sort of turned heel last year, but backed out of going full-fledged heel. There were fears that he would do the same again.

The entire event was built around who the third man would be. The build-up was such that there were really only five possibilities - Hulk Hogan, a member of the babyface team (Randy Savage, Sting, Lex Luger), or free agent Bret Hart. No one else was either available or a big enough deal to warrant the hype being given the angle.

Lex Luger was originally considered, but the plan was changed weeks back when both management and Hulk Hogan agreed that him turning instead would be a better, more money-making idea. Hogan's agreement to turn may have been part of a larger contract extension finalized last week, although that is not confirmed. What is confirmed is that WCW had spent several weeks, despite slating the Hogan angle, looking for alternates, number one on their list being Bret Hart. Had Bret agreed to come in, it's not a lock that he would have been the third man instead of Hogan, since in the last week everyone was sure the Hogan turn was the best possible move.

Even for an event that had two hours in the middle of barely passable action, this event was the most well received WCW event in the history of the Torch reader poll. WCW effectively built anticipation of who the third man would be to the point that any good match was merely an unwanted distraction from the upcoming main event.

Once it was time for the main event, WCW stretched the anticipation as much as possible. Hogan actually didn't wrestle in the match. And there wasn't an official finish for the main event. Those two factors, normally grounds for much deserved complaining by viewers, was just an afterthought given the historical nature of the angle that had just taken place.

Scott Hall and Kevin Nash came to the ring wearing outfits very similar to their WWF days. Diesel wore red instead of black, but otherwise had the same style chaps. Hall wore the same style tights and kneepads, except they were red with "The Outsiders" written on the back. They came to the ring without a third man. Before the match, Hall said they indeed had a third man, but they didn't need him quite yet.

The match began three-on-two, but of course that situation didn't last long because who has sympathy for a babyface team with a one man advantage? Waiting to bring out the third man worked out to be an effective tease that the speculated Luger turn would actually occur. After Sting, Randy Savage, and Lex Luger began the match, Luger could switch sides leaving the babyfaces at a one-man disadvantage. Instead, shortly into the match, Sting dove into a corner of the ring where Nash and Luger were battling. Upon impact, Sting inadvertently rammed Luger's head into the ringpost. Luger collapsed to the mat and was knocked out cold. He was stretchered and would not return.

The two-on-two battle saw Hall and Nash dominate offense. Late in the match, Sting and Savage made a brief comeback, but Nash thwarted it with a low-blow. At that point, the fans popped as out from the corridor popped Hogan. Hogan, with a serious look on his face, deliberately marched to the ring. He did not shake fans' hands. At this point Heenan made perhaps the biggest announcing miscue of his career, as he blurted out, "Which side is he on?" Of course, when he said that there was absolutely no indication Hogan was doing anything but coming down to right a wrong and aid Sting and Savage.

Heenan's mistake notwithstanding, Hogan entered the ring and stood over Savage. Hall and Nash watched him from ringside. Hogan then leaped into the air and legdropped Savage. The fans dropped their clapping hands in shock. The referee put his hands over his face like he just watched a horrible disaster. The announcers begged this not to be true. Hogan then got up and celebrated with Hall and Nash. He legdropped Savage again and Hall counted an unofficial three count. Sting helped Savage from the ring and to the back. The Florida fans, more so a pro-Hogan group than in other parts of the country, mostly booed, although as many as one-third were cheering.

Okerlund solemnly made his way into the ring, milking his shock and disbelief for all he could. "Hulk Hogan, excuse me. Excuse me! What in the world are you thinking?" he asked.

Hogan then answered in what will go down as his most memorable interview of his career: "Mean Gene, the first thing you need to do is to tell these people to shut up if you wanna' hear what I've got to say... The first thing you gotta' realize, brother, is this right here is the future of wrestling (pointing to himself, Hall, and Nash). You can call this the New World Order of Wrestling. These two men right here came from a great big organization up north and everybody was wondering who the third man was. Well, who knows more about that organization but me, brother?... Let 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 up there. And when it all came to pass, the name Hulk Hogan, the man Hulk Hogan, got bigger than the whole organization.

"Billionaire Ted wanted to talk turkey with Hulk Hogan. Well Billionaire Ted promised me movies, brother. Billionaire Ted promised me millions of dollars. Billionaire Ted promised me world caliber matches. As far as Billionaire Ted goes, 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 are the new blood of professional wrestling. 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."

As fans pelted the ring with garbage and sodas, Okerlund said: "Look at all of this crap in this ring. This is what's in the future for you if you want to hang around with this man Hall and this man Nash."

Hogan continued: "As far as I'm concerned, all of 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 got 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 still be 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 pumping gas in their car to get to high school. So the way it is now, brother, with Hulk Hogan and the New World Organization of Wrestling, me and the new blood by my side, whatcha gonna do when the New World Organization runs wild on you."

Schiavone then said what will turn out to be the most famous lines of his career: "We have just seen the end of Hulkamania... Hulk Hogan, you can go to hell. Straight to hell."

As Hogan, Hall, and Nash congratulated each other, the pay-per-view went off the air.

The next night on Nitro, the entire show was once again centered around the angle, this time with knowledge of who the third man turned out to be. Everyone on the card was interviewed and rather than talk about their matches, they invariably first acknowledged the Hogan turn. Even the heels said they were disgusted. Usually when babyfaces turn heel, other heels congratulate them. In this case, everyone spoke against Hogan because the storyline is Hogan and his "New World Order" threaten the very existence of WCW.

Also on Nitro Eric Bischoff explained that the reason he wasn't present at the pay-per-view or pre-game show was he was busy in executive meetings, blowing off the big deal that was made of it the night before.

Hall and Nash made an appearance during the Nitro main event of Sting vs. Arn Anderson. After causing problems at ringside, Okerlund interviewed them. Both gloated over what had happened the night before.

Hogan did not do a follow-up interview on Nitro as he had to return to the set of the current movie he is filming in Hollywood with Roddy Piper. They advertised, somewhat tentatively, that Hogan would make his first post-heel turn interview at the July 15 Nitro.

Sting gave the most inspired interview on Nitro, talking about the great disappointment Hogan caused all of the kids who had listened to his advice over the years. Sting told Hogan to stick it.

[Torch art credit Joe Borzotta (c)]

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PWTorch editor Wade Keller has covered pro wrestling full time since 1987 starting with the Pro Wrestling Torch print newsletter. launched in 1999 and the PWTorch Apps launched in 2008.

He has conducted "Torch Talk" insider interviews with Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Steve Austin, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Eric Bischoff, Jesse Ventura, Lou Thesz, Jerry Lawler, Mick Foley, Jim Ross, Paul Heyman, Bruno Sammartino, Goldberg, more.

He has interviewed big-name players in person incluiding Vince McMahon (at WWE Headquarters), Dana White (in Las Vegas), Eric Bischoff (at the first Nitro at Mall of America), Brock Lesnar (after his first UFC win).

He hosted the weekly Pro Wrestling Focus radio show on KFAN in the early 1990s and hosted the Ultimate Insiders DVD series distributed in retail stories internationally in the mid-2000s including interviews filmed in Los Angeles with Vince Russo & Ed Ferrara and Matt & Jeff Hardy. He currently hosts the most listened to pro wrestling audio show in the world, (the PWTorch Livecast, top ranked in iTunes)


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