As the great philosopher David Bautista once said, don't turn a work into a shoot. Otherwise you end up in court. Just some advice from your uncle Eddie.
14 years ago today, WCW holds Bash at the Beach (WWE Network link) from the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, Florida. 6,572 were in attendance, with about 100,000 homes buying the event on PPV, which is down 75,000 from the previous year's event, and, in an indication of how far WCW has fallen at this point, down from 580,000 in 1998. The controversial event was Hulk Hogan's last WCW appearance. Eric Bischoff would appear for WCW just one other time, via a phone interview just a week before the WWF buys the company in March 2001.
- Lt. Loco defeated Juventud Guerrera to retain the WCW Cruiserweight Championship.
- Big Vito defeated Norman Smiley and Ralphus in a Handicap match to retain the WCW Hardcore Championship.
- Daffney defeated Ms. Hancock in a Wedding Gown match.
- KroniK (Brian Adams and Bryan Clark) defeated The Perfect Event (Shawn Stasiak and Chuck Palumbo) to win the WCW World Tag Team Championship.
- Kanyon defeated Booker T.
- Mike Awesome defeated WCW United States Champion Scott Steiner by disqualification.
- Vampiro defeated The KISS Demon in a Graveyard match.
- Shane Douglas defeated Buff Bagwell.
- Hulk Hogan defeated Jeff Jarrett to win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship.
A backstory surrounding the match if you have a moment: Hulk Hogan and Vince Russo clashed from the moment Russo came to WCW in October 1999. Russo looked to push younger and underutilized talent, which clashed with the big pay and the perks that Hogan carried: he had complete creative control written into his contract (as did a lot of big names in WCW at the time). In fact, one of Russo's first acts as head of the creative team was to write off Hogan's character for four months. Fast forward to July 9, 2000. John Laurinaitis (he of the "People Power") broke the bad news to Hogan: he was losing to Jarrett, and creative had nothing for him going forward. Hogan passes on the news to Eric Bischoff, and the two and Russo come up with a new plan: Hogan wins the title, takes off, WCW crowns a new champion via a tournament, and Hogan returns at a future PPV claiming he's the real world champion (sound familiar?). Vince was not feeling that idea at all, but decided to play along. Both Hogan and Jarrett took their time coming to the ring. When the bell rang, Jeff simply laid down. Russo, at ringside, threw the world title belt at Hogan and told him to take it. Confused by the whole bit, Hulk Hogan gets on the mic: "This is the reason this company is in the damn shape it's in, because of bullshit like this." Hogan puts a foot on Jarrett, the referee counts three, and everybody leaves. Confusion everywhere from the stands to the booth and the locker room. A brilliant work shoot pulled off...and then it became a shoot. Russo returns and drops some scathing remarks in Hogan's direction, which, by the way, Hogan does not hear until days later, as he and Bischoff have already left the Ocean Center (transcript courtesy of cagematch.net):
"Three weeks ago, I left WCW...and quite frankly, I didn't know if I was gonna come back. And the reason I didn't know if I was gonna come back or not is because from day one that I have been in WCW, I 've done nothing, nothing but deal with the bullshit of the politics behind that curtain. The fact of the matter is, I've got a wife, I've got three kids at home, and I really don't need this shit.
But let me tell you the reason why I did come back. I came back for everyone of the guys in that locker that week in, week out, bust their ass for WCW. I came back for the Booker T's, I came back for every single guy in MIA, I came back for the Animals, I came back for Jarrett, I came back for the guys behind that curtain that give a shit about this company.
And let me tell you who doesn't give a shit about this company, that Goddamn politician Hulk Hogan. Cause let me tell you people what happened out here in this ring tonight. All day long I'm playing politics with Hulk Hogan, because Hulk Hogan tonight wants to play his creative control card. And to Hulk Hogan, that meant that tonight in the middle of this ring, when he knew it was bullshit, he beats Jeff Jarrett.
Well guess what, Hogan got his wish, Hogan got his belt and he went the hell home, and I promise everybody or else I'll go in the Goddamn grave, you will never see that piece of shit again! But I also, I sat out there in the people just like you, and I know you paid good money to come here tonight, and nobody is gonna be ripped off here tonight.
So Hulk Hogan now has the WCW belt, and Hulk, let's refer to that as the Hulk Hogan Memorial Belt, because from here on in, that belt don't mean shit! Because there will be a new WCW belt, and as far as I'm concerned, that belt still belongs to the one guy that busts his ass week in and week out in the middle of this ring. And you people can love him and hate him, but he doesn't screw anybody back there and that's Jeff Jarrett.
Now hold on a minute, Jeff Jarrett is still the official WCW champion, but he will defend that title in this ring tonight. And he will defend that title against the son of a bitch back there who for fourteen years has been bustin' his ass in WCW and can't get a Goddamn break because of the Hulk Hogans! And I'm talking about Booker T! Booker T and Jeff Jarrett are the two reasons why I'm in this damn stinkin' business to begin with! So tonight in this ring, for the WCW title, two deserving guys, Jarrett and Booker will compete for the WCW...and tear this goddamn house down! And Hogan you big bald son of a bitch, kiss my ass!"
Hogan would file a defamation suit against Russo, claiming the promo damaged his career, but it was dismissed. Hogan would be back a year and a half later, working for WWE (even winning one more world title). Oh, and in a bit of irony, Hogan, Russo, and Bischoff would reunite a decade later in TNA Wrestling, but all three would be out by the end of 2013. Hulk Hogan is back with the WWE under a legends contract.
- Goldberg defeated Kevin Nash. As a result of the match, Scott Hall's contract with WCW was null and void.
- Booker T defeated Jeff Jarrett to win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. Booker was just the second African-American to hold the top prize in WCW.