It's undoubtedly going to be a slow Saturday night, so instead of sitting around and twiddling our thumbs how about we make use of that certain over-the-top service so many of us pay $9.99 a month for and go retro with a live blog?
Our latest retro live blog will cover Bash at the Beach 1996, which took place on Sun., July 7, 1996, at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, Florida, and featured the invading Outsiders taking on Team WCW (Sting, Lex Luger, Randy Savage) with a surprise third man coming to shock the industry.
We'll treat this live blog like we would any show airing live. It will kick off at 8 p.m. ET tonight, so if you want to follow along and chat with your fellow fans and friends here on the site, make sure you click "play" on the WWE Network at 8 p.m. ET and come back here for all the fun.
Coverage will roll below.
BASH AT THE BEACH 1996 LIVE BLOG
Geno here. Let us do this.
The open for this was such a 1996 thing I can't handle it.
Our commentators are Tony Schiavone, Dusty Rhodes, and Bobby Heenan. They bring us in saying the third man on The Outsiders team has yet to be revealed. Also, where is Eric Bischoff and what has happened to him?
Psychosis vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.
As usual, the cruiserweights got the show started. Mike Tenay, the "wrestling insider," joined the commentary team to add his two cents during the match. This included saying lucha libres in Mexico are similar to Batman in the United States.
Psychosis was in control for much of the early portion of the match, despite nearly killing himself on a suicide dive into the railing around the ring. When Mysterio made his comeback, he did so with a hurricanrana on the outside around the ring post.
Commentary focused just as much on the main event angle during this match than the action in the ring. This included Schiavone calling Macho Man Randy Savage "the psycho we need tonight".
Psychosis regained the edge and used a back splash from the top rope to Mysterio on the outside. That was disgusting. Mysterio came back with another Frankensteiner on the outside and Schiavone made sure to note that had Psychosis landed differently it could have been FATAL.
The finish saw Mysterio counter Psychosis with another hurricanrana from the top rope when the latter was attempting a powerbomb. That was enough to get the three count.
Rey Mysterio def. Psychosis
Gene Okerlund was backstage asking Konnan to explain what happened in the finish of the match we just saw, so he did. Then he cut a promo saying he's been at a disadvantage in WCW because he hasn't had time to form alliances but he's going to beat Ric Flair to retain his U.S. championship.
Big Bubba vs. John Tenta
The artist formerly known as Big Boss Man taking on the artist formerly known as Earthquake. They had a pole set up in the corner with a sock full of silver dollars in it. Whoever grabbed the silver dollars would be able to use it on his opponent.
Tenta, by the way, had half his head shaved and the other half balding with long hair on the side. Maybe the most ridiculous any human has ever looked.
Tenta kept trying to climb the ropes to get the sock but it was up so high he would have to climb on top of the third rope, a terrifying prospect for a man so big. There was a point when he realized this and instead of climbing up to grab it, he tried to unhook the pole attached to the ring post.
What a ridiculous match.
Bubba tied Tenta up on the middle ring rope and started whipping him with a belt. Then he grabbed some scissors and went to cut the rest of Tenta's hair. A low blow stopped all that and Tenta used the scissors to cut himself free, then start cutting at the pole to get to the sock.
Bubba came back to take him out and then he decided he couldn't get to the sock either so he recruited his manager, Jimmy Hart to do it. So he went up and grabbed it but while he did so, Tenta took Bubba down. Naturally, he grabbed the sock when Hart came down with it and laid Bubba out with it.
One shot got the pinfall.
John Tenta def. Big Bubba
"My goodness, he earned every ounce of that one," exclaimed Schiavone. "I'll tell you what, congratulations to Tenta who earned this. A man who has been shaven, a man who has had his hair cut." That's an actual quote.
They cut to commentary so they could talk more about who the third man may be.
That led to an interview with Lex Luger, Sting, and Macho Man Randy Savage. They were all wearing face paint in a show of solidarity.
Savage said he doesn't care who the third man is because that man is going to get hurt just like The Outsiders. Luger said they're very prepared and he's honored to have been chosen to represent WCW and "we'll represent it well." Sting said the unknown gets him really excited. It also makes everyone else on his team excited.
That match is later.
Diamond Dallas Page vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan
This is a "taped fists" match for the "lord of the ring," as Schiavone tells us. It's a wrestling match, but their fists are taped and they're talking like they're boxing. Naturally, they started with a collar and elbow tie up.
DDP tied Duggan's legs up around the ring post early and used that advantage to take the tape off Duggan's fists. Heenan made this out to be a big deal, wondering what Duggan would do without tape on his fists. "He's all alone out there now!"
Then Dusty was confused about it and Schiavone had to remind him that DDP had cut Duggan's tape off.
Meanwhile, Page brought Duggan through the ropes and hit the Diamond Cutter to get the pinfall victory, which means he will retain the "lord of the ring" from BattleBowl.
Diamond Dallas Page def. Hacksaw Jim Duggan
Duggan laid Page out immediately after.
Backstage for an interview with Kevin Sullivan and The Giant.
Sullivan said he wasn't worried about The Four Horsemen thinking he was the weak link. The Giant said the same thing. He would never believe The Taskmaster is the weak link of the Dungeon of Doom. They kept talking about having a home court advantage.
"It's the best of the Horsemen against the best of the Dungeon," Hart said. Okerlund told him to brush his teeth.
Then they cut to Lee Marshall, who was interviewing Arn Anderson and Chris Benoit.
Anderson brought up The Outsiders immediately, ignoring Marshall's question about a pin getting the world heavyweight title shot on Nitro. Arn did circle back to say they're using this match as a way to get back to the title.
Benoit said he's silent but violent and the Horsemen have tolerated the Dungeon of Doom far too long. Tonight, they'll finish off what the Dungeon started and they'll leave them for dead later.
Public Enemy vs. Nasty Boys
This is a "four man dog collar" match. The rules are that one man is chained to another and then it's Texas Tornado rules.
They chained everyone up and it turned into a hardcore match really quickly. Sags was dumping trash all over Grunge and tin can tops were getting blasted over heads. They went picture-in-picture to follow along with each pair of wrestlers.
There is no description for what followed. They just beat the hell out of each other using any and every gimmick they could find. Pinfalls counted everywhere, so the referee was following around to count them. It was chaos and carnage.
It was stupid.
They finally made it back to the ring and it felt like this took forever. The fans were deadly quiet for it too. They continuously tried to put each other through a table and kept failing at it. "That's the toughest table I've ever seen," Heenan remarked.
The finish was dumb. Public Enemy had one man on the outside tied up on the chain and the other was pushed into it. That was enough to get the pin.
The Nasty Boys def. Public Enemy
Public Enemy attacked after the match, finally putting one of the Nasty Boys through that tough table.
They cut back to Gene Okerlund and he had four cops with him for protection from The Outsiders. He said he would immediately go to a lawyer if either Scott Hall or Kevin Nash touched him.
He then talked about not knowing who the third man is. They're really hammering that home.
Disco Inferno vs. Dean Malenko
Before the match started, Disco got on the mic and said he knew everyone came to see him dance. Then he promised everyone would be welcome to his disco dance party after he won the cruiserweight championship.
Malenko was murdering Disco right from the start. Commentary was putting over how deadly Dean's strikes were. Then he hit a brainbuster and it felt like they were genuinely going to end this title match after what amounted to a five minute destruction. Disco kicked out, though.
After Malenko beat on him some more, Disco finally made a comeback. The fans actually got behind him and Heenan went nuts like it was a huge deal. Inferno couldn't get the pin, however, and Malenko regained control fairly quickly. Schiavone put over that we would undoubtedly have a newfound respect for Disco after this match because he seemed to be taking it seriously unlike his past matches.
Naturally, he lost sight of the goal after he hit a couple neckbreakers and danced around instead of pinning Malenko. When he did, he only got a two count. Shortly after, he countered the Texas Cloverleaf with a roll up. They went back and forth after that, but Malenko finally got the Cloverleaf for the submission victory.
Dean Malenko def. Disco Inferno
Schiavone called this a "cruiserweight classic." I'm not sure I would go that far but Malenko got a damn good match out of Disco.
Joe Gomez vs. Steve McMichael
Well, this was a Mongo McMichael match, so you can imagine how well worked it was. The two were physical as hell with each other, though that likely had to do with how good they were at this whole pro wrestling thing.
Gomez got plenty of offense in but McMichael ultimately won with a tombstone piledriver.
Steve McMichael def. Joe Gomez
Gene Okerlund was backstage to interview Ric Flair, who had Woman and Miss Elizabeth with him. Flair said you can never have enough trophies in life. The Four Horsemen will win all the gold and that's that.
The Nature Boy then turned his attention to Konnan, his opponent tonight. He said Konnan is known for having 1,000 holds but Flair is the most experienced pro wrestler there is.
Woman then flirted up a storm with Okerlund and he lost his mind about it. Flair talked about Elizabeth staying with him, then turned his attention back to Konnan. "Bring your best hold, the Nature Boy is coming your way. Woooo!"
More flirting between Woman and Okerlund.
Ric Flair vs. Konnan
This was a U.S. championship match. They put over that this would be the match of Konnan's life.
Flair was up to his tricks early, treating Konnan like he's lesser but bumping big for him when Konnan showed he was up to the challenge. Woman and Elizabeth were ringside and because he's the dirtiest player in the game, Flair was just fine with allowing the both of them to help him in this match.
Because Flair is god, they did a spot with Konnan working corner punches before Flair backed him off and then Flair flopped like the king.
Konnan put Flair in a Figure Four but couldn't get the submission on it. They went back-and-forth after that. Konnan was about to get the pin but Elizabeth distracted the referee allowing Woman to hit Konnan with her shoe and Flair to swoop in for the pin to win the title.
Ric Flair def. Konnan
They cut back to Okerlund once again and he was outside The Outsiders dressing room. He said he heard the third man talking but it was too muffled to make out who the voice belonged to. He did say it was familiar enough to arouse something within his subconscious.
Heenan told him to bribe one of the policemen but Okerlund refused.
Schiavone asked about Bischoff again but Okerlund had no word on that either.
Arn Anderson & Chris Benoit vs. The Giant & The Taskmaster
During the Horsemen's entrance, the Dungeon of Doom jumped them from behind and they brawled in the entrance way. Steve McMichael came out and blasted The Giant with a briefcase, which led to him chasing McMichael to the back. That left Kevin Sullivan alone, where they started the match despite The Giant not being there.
Then he showed up from the back with Jimmy Hart looking pissed.
The Horsemen controlled the match in the ring, with Sullivan taking a beating and Giant stretching with all his might to get a tag as the fresh, angry beast.
Finally, while Sullivan and Anderson were on his side, Giant just ran over and hit a lariat to set up a Taskmaster pinfall attempt. It only got two, and Benoit came back in to continue working.
They worked hard to build up to the hot tag. It finally came after a suplex and it led to Benoit and Anderson running away. Benoit then grabbed Sullivan by the head and took him all the way up the entrance way and right behind Heenan, Schiavone, and Rhodes at the broadcast booth.
Meanwhile, The Giant hit a chokeslam on Arn Anderson in the ring and got the pin to give the Dungeon of Doom the victory. They were picture-in-picture for all this. Weird finish.
Dungeon of Doom def. Four Horsemen
They continued brawling after the match, with Benoit bringing Sullivan back to the ring and The Giant seemingly nowhere to be found. Benoit hit a suplex on Sullivan from the top rope. That brought out Woman, who was screaming for Benoit to stop it because "you're going to hurt him."
The Giant finally came back out with both straps down. He ran off Benoit, then picked Sullivan up and walked to the back with The Taskmaster thrown over his shoulder.
In anticipation of the main event, they ran a video package showing what led up to this match. "Is there going to be a hostile takeover" was the line they continuously drove home, even putting up on the video board that this is a "hostile takeover match".
The Outsiders (Scott Hall, Kevin Nash) vs. WCW (Sting, Lex Luger, Randy Savage)
Hall and Nash were out first. Commentary immediately flipped out that they were without the third man. Then Gene Okerlund showed up looking baffled and asking for a microphone.
He asked where the third man is and Hall told him "you know too much already, but he's here and he's ready." Nash confimed the third man is there but they didn't need a third man to handle WCW, so Okerlund needs to get out so they can take care of business.
That brought out the good guys to a big ovation and pyro and all the excitement everyone could muster for what felt like such a big match.
Hall started with Luger, throwing his toothpick in Lex's face. Luger responded by slapping him in the face. Then he hit a lariat and turned his attention to Nash. Suddenly, chaos broke out and Luger was out on the mat on the outside. Sting and Savage went to check on him and he was out cold. That brought out the medical team and Lex did a stretcher job.
That made it a straight up tag team match: Hall & Nash vs. Sting & Savage.
Heenan hammered home that The Outsiders had a psychological advantage because they still had a third man in the building while WCW had lost Luger. Schiavone apologized to the viewing audience for not calling this match like usual, essentially being a homer due to "unfortunate circumstances". Then he wondered why WCW didn't just send someone out in relief of Luger because, you know, they have a whole locker room back there.
Meanwhile, Nash was picking Sting up by his throat and throwing him across the ring.
The Outsiders cheated often while controlling the match, alternating stretching Sting out and using the other for leverage behind the referee's back. They also pulled a phantom tag act while Savage complained and the ref just let it ride for some reason.
They beat on Sting for a while to set up a hot tag to Savage. He ran wild when he came in, clearing the ring out with multiple double axe handles. When the ref had his back turned, Nash hit Savage with a low blow. That put everyone down.
Suddenly, Hulk Hogan came walking out.
"Whose side is he on?!?"
That's Heenan, who was blown off by Dusty and Schiavone.
Nash and Hall cleared the ring, leaving only Savage. Hogan came in, tore his shirt off, and the crowd cheered the returning hero.
Then he pushed the referee, hit the ropes, and dropped a leg on Savage.
THE THIRD MAN IS HULK HOGAN!
He threw the referee out, Nash kicked Sting away, and Hogan hit another leg drop before Hall counted to three. "We're not even going to acknowledge that three count," Schiavone said.
Everyone was in shock. Fans started pelting the ring with garbage, something no one thought they would ever see happening to Hulk freaking Hogan. Sting was shown picking Savage up and taking him out.
Gene Okerlund arrived and Schiavone threw it to him in the ring trying to avoid getting hit with garbage.
He asked Hogan "what in the world are you thinking?"
"Mean Gene, the first thing you gotta do is tell these people to shut up if you want to hear what I've got to say."
Okerlund said he was sick seeing Hulk align himself with The Outsiders and he was finally popped in the face with a piece of trash. He recovered well.
"You can call this the new world order of wrestling, brother."
Hogan went on to say he made the WWF a monster, making everyone in the north rich. But when it all came to pass, Hogan got bigger than that organization and that's when Billionaire Ted came calling promising him movies, and big matches, and millions of dollars.
"I'm bored, brother."
That's why he aligned himself with "the new blood of professional wrestling," Hall and Nash. Hogan said they were going to take over pro wrestling and destroy everything in their path.
Okerlund pointed out all the garbage in the ring.
"As far as I'm concerned, all of this crap represents these fans out here," was Hogan's response.
He said for two years he did everything for the charities and all that but they weren't grateful, so "these fans can stick it." If it wasn't for Hogan, none of this would exist the way it is. So as far as he's concerned, he's with The Outsiders.
"We have seen the end of Hulkamania. For Bobby The Brain Heenan, for Dusty Rhodes, Gene Okerlund. I don't know. I'm Tony Schiavone. Hulk Hogan, you can go to hell. We're out of here. Straight to hell."