Beach Blast 1992
Welcome to Beach Blast 1992! WrestleWar 1992 was the culmination of the Dangerous Alliance storyline, as they were defeated by Sting's Squadron in a brutal WarGames match. With no new contender immediately available for Sting's title, WCW decided to have Sting blowoff his long-running feud with Cactus Jack. Back at Clash of the Champions in November, Cactus Jack was paid off by Lex Luger to attack Sting. They've been feuding on and off ever since, and tonight is the final battle in a Falls Count Anywhere match. Rick Rude will defend the United States Championship against Ricky Steamboat in a much-anticipated 30 Minute Iron Man Match. And finally, the Steiners will defend the WCW Tag Team Championship against the Miracle Violence Connection of "Dr. Death" Steve Williams and Terry "Bam Bam" Gordy, one of Japan's most respected and feared tag teams. Let's get to the action:
Jim Ross and Jesse Ventura are our hosts.
WCW Light Heavyweight Championship: Brian Pillman (c) vs. Scotty Flamingo
Yes, there was a time where Raven was thin enough to be a Light Heavyweight. According to Ventura, Flamingo is undefeated. It's really amusing to see Raven play a pretty boy. Honestly, he looks a like lot Carlito with his curly afro and pink tights. Chain wrestling sequence to start is won by Pillman and he works over Flamingo's arm. Pillman goes off the ropes and connects with a Swinging Sunset Flip. Pillman stays on the arm. Flamingo manages to counter an Armbar into a Toe Hold, but Pillman kicks him back down and re-applies the Armbar. They go back up and Pillman hits a Dropkick that sends Flamingo to the floor, which has no mats. This is near the beginning of Bill Watts' run in charge of WCW, and one of his first major initiatives was to remove the mats from the floor. I really can't tell you why he would consider that a good idea. Maybe he just really wanted the guys to get hurt. He also banned moves off the top rope, which pretty much destroyed the Light Heavyweight division. Pillman hits a Double Ax Handle off the apron. Pillman goes up top, but is stopped by the referee and then thrown to the mat by Flamingo. Flamingo throws Pillman to the floor.
Flamingo goes over the top with a Plancha onto the concrete. Ouch. Concrete in wrestling is a pet peeve of mine: it hurts like hell to land on, but the crowd doesn't really care because there's no sound or image. When you land on a mat, it doesn't hurt as much but seems like a greater impact because of the sound it makes. Good wrestling entails people pretending to get hurt, not people actually getting hurt. Flamingo is working over Pillman in the ring. Flamingo applies a Chinlock. Pillman fights out, but Flamingo catches him with a knee to the gut. Flamingo misses a corner charge and both men are down. Flamingo goes back to the Chinlock. Pillman breaks out and applies a Sleeper. Flamingo gets out by running Pillman head-first into the turnbuckle. Flamingo comes off the second rope, but gets caught with a Dropkick to the face. Pillman follows that with a Spinning Heel Kick. Flamingo counters a charge with a Powerslam.
Flamingo poses on the second rope and is hit with a Belly to Back Suplex. Flamingo telegraphs a Backdrop and is slammed face-first into the mat. Pillman Clotheslines Pillman over the top rope onto the ramp. He tries a dive over the ropes, but misses and splats on the ramp. Pillman crawls into the ring and is hit with a Knee Drop from the second rope and is pinned at 17:29.
Result: Scotty Flamingo by pinfall (New WCW Light Heavyweight Champion)
Analysis: ***1/2. Good match. They worked around the limitations of the new rules well. There were a few slow portions, but I enjoyed the totality of their work.
Johnny B. Badd is out to host the Beach Blast Bikini Contest between Madusa and Missy Hyatt. I'm not going to recap these segments, as there was no point to them.
Ron Simmons vs. Terrance Taylor
Simmons overpowers Taylor to start. Simmons gets a pair of Three Point Stance Tackles, but Taylor manages to throw him through the ropes to the ramp. On the ramp, Simmons hits an Atomic Drop and Military Presses him over the top rope back into the ring. A Clothesline sends Taylor to the floor. Simmons drags Taylor back into the ring and slams him. Simmons locks on a Bearhug. Taylor fights out, but can't get anything going. Simmons misses a Three Point Stance Charge and tumbles out onto the ramp. Taylor brings Simmons back into the ring and hits a Jawbreaker. Chinlock by Taylor. He breaks the hold and hits a Backbreaker. Simmons reverses an Irish Whip and hits a Spinebuster. Backdrop by Simmons. Simmons hits a big Powerslam for the pin at 7:10
Result: Ron Simmons by pinfall
Analysis: **1/4. Basic but entertaining match.
Ross interviews Simmons. JR puts Simmons over. Clearly, they're grooming him for big things. Simmons says he wants to be the best.
Marcus Bagwell vs. Greg Valentine
The young lion versus the grizzled veteran. Bagwell runs through his basic offense: Hip Toss, Body Slam, Arm Drag. Valentine catches Bagwell with a forearm to the neck when he drops down for a Backdrop. Valentine tries a Piledriver but is Backdropped. Bagwell hits an Atomic Drop and a Dropkick. Valentine bails to the floor to regroup. Valentine blocks a Hip Toss and drops Bagwell with a Clothesline. Chops from Valentine. Valentine misses a second rope Elbow Drop. Bagwell misses a Knee Drop and Valentine goes to work on the leg. Bagwell blocks a Figure Four attempt. Valentine tries it again and gets rolled up for a two count. Valentine goes back to the leg. Bagwell manages a couple roll-ups, but that's it. Valentine hits a Kneebreaker and locks on the Figure Four for the submission victory at 7:17. Guess that's the end of Bagwell's push.
Result: Greg Valentine by pinfall
Analysis: **. Standard wrestling match. Amusing to watch most of the crowd boo Bagwell and cheer Valentine.
They recap Cactus Jack's previous hardcore exploits: he brawled out of the arena during a Falls Count Anywhere match against Van Hammer at the last Clash of the Champions.
Falls Count Anywhere Match: Sting vs. Cactus Jack
Sting's WCW Championship is not on the line. This is where I have to point out that TNA put these guys against each other in a pay-per-view main event 17 years later, in 2009. That match was actually pretty good. Cactus enters and waits at the bottom of the ramp rather than enter the ring. Sting enters and he and Cactus exchange blows on the ramp as the crowd goes wild. Sting shoots Cactus into the ropes and Backdrops him on the ramp. He plants Cactus face-first on the ramp. Sting misses a diving Clothesline and straddles the top rope. Cactus throws Sting to the floor and drops the Cactus Jack Elbow from the apron. Looks like he legitimately hurt his knee there as he landed on the concrete. Cactus hits a Swinging Neckbreaker on the floor and his head snaps off the concrete. Cactus comes off the apron with a Sunset Flip and splats onto the floor. That's just stupid. Sting slams Cactus into the railing. Cactus charges Sting but gets Backdropped over the railing into the crowd! Suplex on the concrete by Sting. Cactus gets whipped into the railing and tumbles over it.
They enter the ring. Cactus drops Sting with a Clothesline and they're both down. Cactus takes over and works on Sting. He focuses on the ribs that Vader broke a few months ago. Cactus locks on a Chinlock and applies Body Scissors. Ventura thinks it's brilliant that he would catch Sting off-guard by using wrestling holds in this type of match. Sting fights out and lights up Cactus with right hands. Cactus hits a Cactus Jack Clothesline on Sting and they both fly over the top to the floor. Again, they hit the concrete floor. I ask, would this match be any less enjoyable with mats on the floor? Definitely not for me. Cactus puts Sting into the guardrail. Cactus grabs a chair. He gets a hard shot to the back on Sting. Cactus Headlocks Sting, but Sting counters with a Back Suplex on the floor. That's sick. Sting tries a Stinger Splash but gets dumped on the railing. Cactus Piledrives Sting. Cactus goes to the second rope and misses the Elbow Drop. They fight up onto the ramp and Sting slams Cactus. Sting hits Cactus with a series of chair shots, including one to the knee. He tries the Scorpion Deathlock, but Cactus trips him and they both fall off the ramp. Double Arm DDT on the ramp by Cactus. Sting hits a Clothesline, then a Flying Clothesline from the top rope for the pin at 11:24.
Result: Sting by pinfall
Analysis: ****. Great match. True brutality, to the point that parts of it made me uncomfortable. I think the number of falls on concrete here were idiotic, but it was also fun to watch. This should have been the match that made Cactus a star, but WCW would proceed to drop the ball on him in truly immense fashion.
30 Minute Iron Man Match: Rick Rude vs. Ricky Steamboat
Most falls in 30 minutes wins. Rude escaped with his title due to Paul E. Dangerously's interference at SuperBrawl. Now they're going to determine who the better man is. Rude's title is not on the line here, it's just about pride. Both Dangerously and Madusa have been barred from ringside. Rude is out first to huge heat. He goes through his typical routine on the mic in the ring. Steamboat is out second with his wife and son.
Steamboat hits a Rib Breaker to kick things off. Rude sells it like death and Steamboat goes right after the ribs. Steamboat applies a Bearhug. Rude gets out and knees Steamboat in the face. Nice shot to Steamboat's previously broken nose. Steamboat gets Rude down and locks on a Bow and Arrow. Ventura says Rude should tap out to avoid further damage and save his strength. Rude gets out after a thumb to the eye. Steamboat locks on a Boston Crab. He holds it for a few minutes before Rude gets the rope. Steamboat hits a Splash to the back. We're six minutes in. Steamboat hits a series of kicks to Rude's ribs. He was one of the best ever at working a body part, even as a babyface. Steamboat slams Rude with a Reverse Suplex. Rude counters a corner charge with a knee to the face and then grabs the tights for a pin with 22:18 left.
Rude 1, Steamboat 0
No rest period, they just go right back to it. Rude immediately hits the Rude Awakening for another pin with 21:20 left.
Rude 2, Steamboat 0
Rude hits a Back Breaker and goes to the top rope. He comes off with a Splash and is disqualified to lose the fall with 20:15 remaining.
Rude 2, Steamboat 1
Rude immediately rolls up an incapacitated Steamboat for another pin with 19:39 left.
Rude 3, Steamboat 1
Steamboat fights back and slams Rude face-first into the mat. He's too hurt to follow it up and Rude applies a Camel Clutch. Ventura points out that it's in Rude's favor to waste time now that he has the lead. Rude holds the Camel Clutch for a few minutes until Steamboat powers out into an Electric Chair Drop. Steamboat tries a Splash, but Rude gets his knees up. Rude tries a series of pins, but Steamboat keeps kicking out. Rude applies a Chinlock with fifteen minutes left. Rude goes for a Tombstone Piledriver, but Steamboat manages to reverse into a Tombstone of his own and gets the pin with 12:22 left.
Rude 3, Steamboat 2
They both slowly get to their feet. Rude slams Steamboat into the turnbuckle and goes to the top rope. Steamboat stops him from coming off and Superplexes Rude! Not really clear why that's legal but jumping from the top isn't. Steamboat finally covers, but Rude kicks out. They do a Double KO as the clock ticks under 10 minutes. Rude lays on top of Steamboat for a lazy cover, but Steamboat gets a Crucifix Pin to win the fall with 9:38 left.
Rude 3, Steamboat 3
Steamboat tries every pin combination he can think of, but can't get a three. Rude headbutts Steamboat to slow him down and they're both out. Rude makes it up first and slams Steamboat's face into the mat. Rude works Steamboat over with Body Slams and Fist Drops. Rude chokes Steamboat. Rude goes for the Rude Awakening, but Steamboat powers out and hits his own Neckbreaker! Rude gets his foot on the rope at two. Steamboat drops knees with five minutes to go. Vertical Suplex by Steamboat. Back Suplex by Steamboat. Rude reverses an Irish Whip and locks in a Sleeper Hold with four minutes left. Steamboat runs Rude into the turnbuckle to try to break it, but he can't. Rude still has it locked in with three minutes left. Rude pulls Steamboat back from the ropes. Steamboat goes down to a knee with two minutes left. The referee checks the arm, but Steamboat keeps it up with one minute to go. Steamboat climbs up the second rope, kicks off, and bridges back into a pin 35 seconds left.
Steamboat 4, Rude 3
Rude goes desperation, hitting Steamboat with everything he has. Steamboat keeps kicking out. Rude gets a Body Slam with five seconds left, but Steamboat kicks out and wins 4-3.
Result: Ricky Steamboat 4-3
Analysis: ****1/4. Excellent match. I'm not a huge fan of the Iron Man Match as a concept because I feel like it sucks a lot of the drama out of all but the final minute of the match. However, these two worked so well together that they managed to entertain me throughout. I thought this match displayed excellent psychology in the way they worked on body parts and Rude sacrificing a fall to be able to pin Steamboat multiple times. Great effort by both men.
Arn Anderson, Bobby Eaton, and Steve Austin vs. Dustin Rhodes, Nikita Koloff, and Barry Windham
This match pits the Dangerous Alliance against three of the men they fought in the WarGames Match at WrestleWar. Paul E. Dangerously accompanies his men to ringside. Ole Anderson is the special referee for this match. Austin and Windham start, just like at WrestleWar. Austin has won back the Television Title from Windham at this point. Austin goes to the second rope, but is thrown off with a Japanese Arm Drag. Dustin Rhodes tags in and hits Bionic Elbows on Austin. Dropkicks by Rhodes. Rhodes locks on an Armbar and Austin tags in Eaton. Eaton wrangles Rhodes and tags in Arn Anderson. Anderson jaws with Koloff and slaps him. That leads Rhodes to tag Koloff into the match. Anderson gets Koloff down and goes to the top. Ole forces him back down. JR says that some people have criticized the rule, saying that they "just don't understand." Strong defense there by JR.
Koloff Russian Sickles Arn in the back and he falls over the top to the floor. For reasons defying logic, that's not a disqualification. I actually like the over the top rule, but it's ruined by the fact that guys do it right in front of the referee with no repercussion. Windham tags in and hits an Atomic Drop. That results in Anderson's head hitting the turnbuckle and bouncing back into Windham's head. They're both down. Anderson hits a shot from the second rope. Windham bounces back and applies a Sleeper. Anderson Jawbreakers his way out. Anderson tags in Rhodes. Rhodes goes after the heels but gets cheap shotted by Anderson. Austin tags in and hits the Stun Gun on Rhodes. Rhodes manages to tag in Windham, who cleans house. We get a pier six brawl and Windham Superplexes Austin. Anderson hits a top rope punch on Windham and the Dangerous Alliance is disqualified at 15:32.
Result: Dustin Rhodes, Nikita Koloff, and Barry Windham by disqualification
Analysis: **1/2, Surprisingly weak. Seems like the heels never really got any heat going and just got beat up the entire time. Weak finish as well with the disqualification. I probably would have preferred for the heels to get the win there, but it seems like the Dangerous Alliance was coming to a close at this point.
Eric Bischoff interviews Ricky Steamboat. Steamboat says he is looking forward to facing Rude for the United States Championship in the near future. Paul E. Dangerously interrupts and informs Steamboat that Rude will never defend the title against him. Cactus Jack then attacks Steamboat and they brawl until referees separate them.
WCW World Tag Team Championship: The Steiner Brothers (c) vs. The Miracle Violence Connection (Steve Williams and Terry Gordy)
Big tag team showdown here between two of the top tag teams in the world. Gordy and Scott start. They do a mat wrestling series to start. It doesn't really go anywhere. Bam Bam finally smacks Scott and a fight breaks out. Scott shoots the legs and pummels Gordy. Dr. Death tags in. Amateur wrestling sequence ensues. Scott ducks a corner charge and gets a Sunset Flip. Scott applies a Headlock and tags in Rick. Rick hits a Belly to Belly Suplex and Williams rolls to the floor. Williams gets back in and slams Rick. Rick counters a Three Point Stance with a Steinerline. Gordy tags in and jumps Rick from behind. Gordy hits a Back Suplex. Rick counters a Headlock with a Back Suplex. Williams tags in and throws Rick through the ropes to the ramp. Williams dives over the ropes with a shoulderblock. Rick goes over the top rope into the ring with a Sunset Flip. Gordy tags back in.
Gordy applies a Half Crab. He transitions into a Spinning Toe Hold. Rick hits a Belly to Belly Suplex and tags in Scott. Scott gets Gordy down into a bridging pin, but Williams is able to tag in. Williams boots Scott in the head. Gordy tags in and Scott connects with a Crossbody for a two count. Gordy and Williams double team Scott with chops. Williams kicks Scott's leg out from under him and Gordy goes right after the knee. Heat segment on the knee ensues. It goes on for a solid seven minutes. Scott manages to crawl all the way to his corner while Williams has him in the Boston Crab and tag Rick. Rick Powerslams Williams. Rick hits the Steiner Bulldog! Scott comes in and they go for the Double Steiner Bulldog, but Gordy knocks Scott off the top rope. Meanwhile, Williams blindsides Rick with a Clothesline. Gordy hits Rick with a Front Powerslam from the second rope. Gordy and Williams work on Rick. The ring announcer announces five minutes left in the match.
Gordy hits a Back Suplex on Rick. Four minutes left. Williams applies a Chinlock. Three minutes left. Rick fights out but gets hit with the Doctor Bomb. Rick kicks out at two. Williams grabs a Front Facelock. Steiner escapes the Oklahoma Stampede and hits a Steinerline. Gordy tags in. Rick catches him with a Steinerline. One minute left. Rick tags in Scott! Scott Backdrops both Williams and Gordy. He slams them both. 15 seconds. Scott hits the Double Underhook Powerbomb. He hits the Frankensteiner as time expires at 30:00.
Result: Time limit draw
Analysis: ***1/4. It was good, but not great. Longer than it needed to be and the time limit draw was pretty lame. I don't think this should have gone on last for the simple reason that there was no ending. Sting and Cactus or Rude and Steamboat would have been a better choice for the main event. The WCW crowd wasn't really that into Gordy and Williams, as they probably hadn't seen them team much before.
These teams would meet again in the quarterfinals of a tournament for the NWA Tag Team Championships two days later at Clash of the Champions. Williams and Gordy would win that match.
Overall: Another very good show. Not a single bad match on the card and a couple excellent ones. WCW was really rolling along at this point with a hot champion and a major heel stable opposing him. But Sting's greatest challenge was a man not featured on this card, a man who would challenge him for the WCW Championship at the Great American Bash: The Man They Call Vader.