WCW Bash at the Beach 1997 | WCW Sunday Night RetroView

World Championship Wrestling fans, we are back for the second week in row with another WCW RetroView. This time we are diving into WCW Bash at the Beach 1997, and let me tell you, this is a fun show. After months of being M.I.A, WCW World Champion Hollywood Hogan is finally stepping back in the ring. But he isn’t coming alone; joining him in celebration of the nefarious nWo’s one-year anniversary is NBA bad boy Dennis Rodman.

_______________

Bash at the Beach (1997) - Wikipedia
Photo / Wikipedia

The dastardly duo takes on WCW flag bearer’s Lex Luger and The Giant in the main event. Also, Diamond Dallas Page continues his war against the nWo, but he’s bringing a mystery partner with him. Plus, legends collide when Ric Flair and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper go one on one. The show begins with a great video package highlighting the birth of Dennis Rodman’s relationship with the nWo.

The footage of the group beating down Luger and the Giant really makes this match feel important. Our favorite announcing trio of Tony Schiavone, Dusty Rhodes, and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan welcome us to the show.

Side note: The Bash at the Beach set is still one of the best wrestling sets ever, complete with tropical sand and beach paraphernalia.

It takes very little time for Schiavone to proclaim that the main event is…

“One of the biggest wrestling matches in the history of our sport.”

Gotta love Schiavone’s commitment. Dusty references the one-year anniversary of the creation of the nWo. Something he stresses that WCW needs to be wary of what that might bring.

WCW Bash at the Beach 1997
Wrath & Mortis w/ James Vandenberg vs. Glacier and Ernest “The Cat” Miller

The Mortal Kombat rivalry writes its next chapter. Wrath and Mortis come out first and as always Vanderberg is a creepy little weasel leading the way. Glacier and Miller enter second complete with indoor snow (Glacier was doing this long before AEW Sting). The villainous duo attack Glacier and Miller before the bell, but the opposing martial artists quickly counter their assault.

Glacier and Mortis officially begin the match and the announcers are surprised with the extra physicality Glacier has on this night. Open palm thrusts have been exchanged for close fist punches, and he even does a double leg takedown. Ernest Miller gets his first piece of action hitting Mortis with an array of kicks, before Mortis tags in the big man. Wrath slows the pace down, using his power to control his opponents.

A Collective Review of WCW Bash at the Beach 1997 (Hogan/Rodman vs.  Luger/Giant) by Lance Augustine - TJRWrestling - WWE, AEW News, TV Reviews,  PPVs, More!
Photo TJRWrestling / WWE

After missing an elbow drop from the middle rope, Wrath is hit by a double drop kick from Glacier and Miller. An advantage that doesn’t last long as Wrath and Mortis pull out a bevy of double team maneuvers.

First they place Glacier’s head between the ring post and a chair and Mortis side kicks it. Then they nail a power bomb-neck breaker combo before Wrath puts Glacier in a reverse Boston Crab. This allows Mortis to hit him with a guillotine leg drop from the middle rope.

Side note: Wrath and Mortis could’ve been one hell of a team had they not be sidelined with such silly gimmicks.

WCW Bash at the Beach 1997 Review

Eventually, all hell breaks loose and amidst the chaos, Mortis picks up the victory after Vanderburg wrapped a chain around his boot and he hit Glacier with a super kick. The loss is the first in Glacier’s career.

Winners – Wrath & Mortis

We cut to the back where DDP is answering questions from the internet in a horribly awkward segment.

WCW Bash at the Beach
WCW Cruiserweight Championship Match
Chris Jericho © vs. The Ultimate Dragon

Jericho, fresh off breaking Syxx’s stranglehold on the Cruiserweight Championship, comes in with a lot of momentum. This is topflight, cookie-cutter baby face Chris Jericho, complete with stopping to embrace the fans on his way to the ring. As with most WCW Cruiserweight matches, Mike Tenay joins the commentary team.

He references Jericho and Dragon’s time together in Japan and Mexico. Stressing how well they know each other. Something that is very apparent by the great chemistry they have.

The match quickly turns into a game of one-upmanship with each wrestler matching the other’s moves.  Dragon hits Jericho with his head stand on the top turnbuckle followed by his feet of fury.  Just as impressive is Jericho’s double power bomb.

A Collective Review of WCW Bash at the Beach 1997 (Hogan/Rodman vs.  Luger/Giant) by Lance Augustine - TJRWrestling - WWE, AEW News, TV Reviews,  PPVs, More!
Photo / TJR Wrestling / WWE

Both men hit a dive to the outside. Jericho’s attempt is met with a drop kick before Dragon hits his patented Asai Moonsault. Eventually, Jericho attempts the lionsault, which is also met with a drop kick.

The two trade pin attempts and reversals as the final minutes of the match pick up the intensity and pace.  Jericho gets the win when his double underhook powerbomb attempt is countered into a frankensteiner, but that is countered into a roll-up for the three count. 

It really is a tremendous sequence to finish a very entertainingly smooth match. 

Winner – Chris Jericho

Mean Gene Okerlund gives us our first WCW Hotline update of the night, pondering who will be DDP’s mystery partner. He makes his way ringside, where he interviews Raven. 

The recent ECW arrival answers only in riddles before punching his friend Stevie Richards for speaking out of turn. 

WCW Bash at the Beach 1997
The Steiner Brothers vs. The Great Muta & Masahiro Chono

Rick and Scott’s quest back to the tag team titles brings them face to face with two of the nWo’s Japanese contingent. Muta and Chono attempt to get the upper hand before the bell, but after a quick exit from the ring, the Steiner’s both connect with clothes lines from the top turnbuckle. Scott asserts his dominance early with his power sending Muta reeling to the outside. 

Then we get a face-off between Chono and Rick, Chono is great at riling up the crowd.  Chono hits his vintage mafia kick but poses instead of making a cover. 

We get a test of strength between these two, with Rick gaining the brief advantage before Chono responds with a kick in the gut. Scott and Muta pick up the intensity again, but before long, Muta and Chono get the advantage. 

Bash at the Beach '97 - Classic Wrestling Review
Photo / Classic Wrestling Review

Ending their momentum is a beautiful belly-to-belly suplex from the top turnbuckle by Scott. Rick gets the hot tag and nails both opponents with a pair of belly-to-belly suplexes. As the fight spills into chaos, Muta gives Scott a taste of his own medicine with a top rope Frankensteiner. But he’s met with a German suplex by Rick. 

The finish comes when Chono accidentally distracts the referee allowing the Steiner’s to hit their tandem Steiner DDT from the top rope. 

Winners – Steiner Brother’s

WCW Bash at the Beach 1997
Six-Man Tag Match
Juventud Guerrera, Hector Garza, Lizmark Jr. vs La Parka, Psychosis, Villano IV w/ Sonny Onoo

Mike Tenay is back on commentary and tells us how a lucha libre six-man tag is such an important thing. This match is all about fast, action-filled spots with each man given the chance to shine.

Hector Garza impresses with some high-flying moves while Villano IV hits hard and fast. The talent of Juventud and Psychosis is apparent while La Parka is in the early stages of becoming WCW’s chairman. 

Bash at the Beach '97 - Classic Wrestling Review
Photo / Classic Wrestling Review

Midway through the match, La Parka starts falling out with his teammates. This leads to a beautifully timed triple suicide dive from Juventud, Garza and Lizmark Jr. Continuous miscalculations by the team of La Parka, Villano IV and Psychosis are hilarious throughout the match. 

Villano V comes out late in the match, but his attempt at helping goes awry when he accidentally clotheslines Psychosis. Garza gets the win after a missile drop kick and moonsault on Villano V. 

Winners – Juventud Guerrera, Hector Garza, Lizmark Jr. 

Up next is an out-of-control retirement match between Chris Benoit and Kevin Sullivan, seemingly ending their rivalry. 

WCW Bash at the Beach 1997
United States Championship Match
Jeff Jarrett © vs. Steve “Mongo” McMichael

Mongo comes out first with his wife, Queen Debra. Jarrett follows, full of confidence. After both play to the crowd with the championship, something Dusy emphasizes is…

“One up man ship.”
WCW Dusty Rhodes, Tony Schiavone and Bobby Heenan | Bobby heenan, Dusty  rhodes, Wrestling
Photo / Pinterest

“Jarrett sucks” chants ring through the crowd as he stalls, starting the match. Anytime Mongo gets the advantage, Jarrett is quick to make an exit to stop the momentum. Jarrett plays the weasley heel to a T, and it makes Mongo look almost credible. 

Steve 'Mongo' McMichael vs. Jeff Jarrett 07/13/97 - YouTube
Photo / YouTube

The steel briefcase plays a factor in the finish after Debra turns on Mongo and provides it to Jarrett. Jarrett gets the win and leaves with the girl leaving a dumbfounded Mongo perplexed in the ring. 

Winner – Jeff Jarrett

We get our next WCW Hotline plug by Mean Gene before introducing a video for WCW’s next pay-per-view Road Wild. Hollywood Hogan and Rodman grace our screen now, and they talk trash like only they can. 

WCW Bash at the Beach
Scott Hall & Randy Savage vs. DDP & Curt Hennig

Hall and Savage make their way out first as the commentary team still ponders who will team with DDP. DDP makes his way out with Kimberly before slowly bringing out Curt Hennig. 

All three announcers are overly excited about this development. Savage and Page start the match, mutual hatred still spewing out of their pores. An early clothesline by DDP then some posturing leads to Savage tagging out. 

Hall then calls in Hennig, and he immediately tosses his toothpick in Hennig’s face. Hennig quickly shows he’s still damn near perfect before tagging DDP back in. Hall and Savage use a referee distraction to regain the advantage. 

The nWo cohorts then turn their focus to DDP’s bandaged ribs. DDP being the fighter he is never gives up and eventually gets the tag to Hennig.

But, a miscommunication on the ring ropes leads to Hennig striking DDP before walking away. DDP all alone is no match for a Scott Hall Outsider’s Edge followed by a Savage elbow drop for the nWo win. 

Winners – Scott Hall & Randy Savage

“Rowdy” Roddy Piper vs. Ric Flair

Flair basically abandoning Piper during the Great American Bash caused a major rift between these two legends. This is their opportunity to settle it. A crazed Piper opens the match with a furious attack sending Flair reeling to the outside. Flair, calm, cool, and collected, slowly makes his way back to the ring. 

The two trade chops until a slap sends Flair crashing into the mat. It doesn’t take long for the fight to spill outside the ring; Piper still in control. Back in the ring, Flair begs for mercy which is met with an eye poke by Piper. Flair finally takes control after a brief referee distraction. 

Piper’s knee becomes Flair’s immediate focus. The famed figure four makes its first appearance of the match, and Piper sells it masterfully. It’s Flair’s slap to the face that fires up Piper enough to reverse the hold. 

The two trade dirty moves proving just how devious they can be. Piper’s first attempt at the sleeper hold is countered by a jaw breaker by Flair. Flair finds his way up to the top rope but is thrown down by Piper. 

Side Note: Has Ric Flair ever hit that move from the top rope?

Piper now applies his own figure four to Flair, and the crowd erupts. Flair tries to use a taped brass knuckles on Piper, but Hot Rod takes it and uses it against him. This brings out Mongo and Benoit, and while Benoit distracts the ref, Mongo hits a tombstone piledriver. Amazingly Piper kicks out at two. 

Then we get the match’s best moment, Flair knife-edge chops Piper twice, but Piper simply stares him down with one of the best, most intense looks ever. A sleeper hold by Piper moments later gets him the huge victory. 

Winner – “Rowdy” Roddy Piper 
Remember When? Dennis Rodman teams with Hulk Hogan in WCW - Sportsnet.ca
Photo / Sportsnet

WCW Bash at the Beach 1997
Lex Luger & The Giant vs. Hollywood Hulk Hogan & Dennis Rodman

Bruce Buffer announces Luger and Giant first, and as always, Buffer is fantastic in his role. Next out is Rodman, Hogan, and Savage. The crowd sounds split 50/50 in support of both teams. 

Dusty sums up the WCW side of things, saying… 

“The look in Luger and Giants eyes means the nWo is in for the fight of their lives.”

Once again, I stress, Dusty is absolute gold on commentary. Hogan and Luger start the match, and it’s your typical Hogan heel performance. Lots of stalling and posturing. Luger gets in brief spurts of offense before Hogan tricks him into a test of strength which he immediately kicks Luger in the gut. 

Hogan tries his leg drop, but Luger avoids it before body slamming the champ. This leads to Rodman tagging in, eliciting one of the loudest reactions of the night. Rodman, obviously learning from Hogan, stalls, and taunts for as long as he can. His posturing leads to a “Rodman sucks” chant from the crowd. 

Luger and Rodman finally tie-up and Rodman shocks the world with an arm drag. Once again, the crowd erupts right along with our commentary trio. Luger gives Rodman a pair of arm drags before Hogan runs in and receives one of his own. This flurry of offense sends the nWo fleeing to ringside. 

WCW Bash at the Beach 1997

Back in the ring, Rodman impresses again with a shoulder block after leaping over Luger. These basic moves Schiavone describes hilariously as “flashes of brilliance.” Rodman’s second leap frog is met with a shoulder block by Luger. Now it’s time for the Giant to come in, but Rodman tags out, bringing Hogan back in. 

From here, we get the usual Hogan-Giant back and forth. After Giant controls Hogan for a few minutes, Rodman tags back in. Quickly Giant catches Rodman on a leapfrog attempt before hitting him with a gigantic atomic drop. 

A referee distraction saves Rodman from being choked out as Hogan is quick to step in illegally. Hogan and Rodman control the next few minutes with double teams and quick tags. 

A double hip toss coming as the highlight of their attack. The Giant’s able to finally make the hot tag, and Luger comes in on fire. But, Rodman, with a perfectly placed kick, stops that momentum in its tracks. More nWo control proceeds before the Giant is finally able to get in and deliver multiple head butts to the nWo duo. 

As the Giant is in control, “Sting” slowly walks out from the locker room before nailing the Giant with his baseball bat. It’s very obvious that it’s not Sting, but the commentary team sell it like it really is. 

The Best and Worst of WCW Bash at the Beach 1997
Photo / Uproxx

A mistimed punch from Hogan to Rodman after Luger moves leads to Luger applying the torture rack to each member of the nWo one at a time. Hogan taps out, giving Luger and the Giant the win for WCW. 

Winners – Lex Luger & The Giant

The show closes with Hogan, Rodman, and Savage arm in arm, moaning about the loss. 


So there you have it, our next stop in the annals of WCW is in the books. 

Next up, if it’s available on Peacock, is Road Wild 1997, the night WCW returns to the world-famous Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.