For those who have followed my Ring of Honor Internet pay-per-view analyses, you can expect the same thing for my Classic Show of the Month reviews. And to the people who are reading a show review by yours truly for the first time, I look at what was right and wrong about each event – from matches to production if need be – before telling you if the event is worth your time and/or money.
WCW Beach Blast ‘93 has a special place in my heart due to it being the first pay-per-view I watched live. There are some crazy things surrounding this show; especially when it comes to the way WCW set up the main event between The Superpowers (Sting & Davey Boy Smith) and The Masters of the Power Bomb (WCW World champion Vader & Sid Vicious). But zaniness aside, lets find out if this show is a blast to watch, or the equivalent of TL Hopper in the kiddy pool. This is a review from the VHS release, which excluded three matches that aired on the PPV itself. But those matches were ultimately forgettable – so no loss.
Beach Blast 1993
1. Johnny B. Badd defeated Maxx Payne
2. The Hollywood Blondes defeated The Four Horsemen to successfully defend the WCW Tag Team title
3. Dustin Rhodes vs. Rick Rude went to a time limit draw over the U.S. title
4. Ric Flair defeated Barry Windham for the NWA World title
5. The Superpowers defeated The Masters of the Power Bomb
Stunning The Horsemen Hollywood Style: The few hundred people who attended the Worldwide TV tapings in Orlando’s Universal Studios reported that Arn Anderson and Paul Roma were walking around, cutting promos with the Tag Team title belts before this event happened. The news made its way around various newsletters, and the belief that The Horsemen had this thing in the bag started spreading. Thankfully, that news didn’t reach the fans in Biloxi, as they were white hot for the opening minutes that saw Steve Austin be dominated by The Horsemen. Things were looking great for Roma and Anderson for almost ten minutes until Roma was kneed to the floor and dropped throat first across the guardrail. The noticeable deflation in the crowd wasn’t lost on announcers Tony Schiavone and Jesse Ventura, noting that taking the fans out of the match was what The Blondes needed to do.
As the match progressed, and Roma and Pillman threw dropkicks at the same time, only to miss each other, Arn eventually gained the hot tag. Once again, everything seemed to be going well for The Horsemen until someone got lured into something thanks to the craftiness of Austin and the quick thinking by Pillman. This time, Anderson was the recipient of a clubbing forearm from an illegally entering Austin that saved Pillman. The next few minutes saw The Blondes isolate Anderson like they did with Roma by using quick tags to keep each other fresh while dropping knees and elbows so Arn stayed grounded. Showing some uncanny agility, Arn sprung off the mat when Pillman took too much time climbing the ropes, popping “Flyin’” Brian in the stomach prior to rolling to Roma for another hot tag in this match.
It didn’t take long for the referee to lose control while Roma was laying into both opponents as Arn played director. This actually cost The Horsemen as the ref became insistent that Arn return to his corner as Roma rolled Austin up. Pillman suddenly threw a clothesline to the unsuspecting Roma, knocking him over so Austin could use the same O’Connor roll up topped off by a handful of tights to retain the Tag title.
This is an old school, heat-grabbing, southern style tag match that is a perfect example of what’s missing in tag team wrestling nowadays. Heck, on a national stage, nothing like this happens, but should. The win helped establish The Blondes as the best team going at that time while The Horsemen still looked strong in defeat. Easily the Match of the Night. The only wrong about this match was Pillman’s wedgie. For some reason, Pillman wrestled two-thirds of this match with his right butt cheek out, and no one told him readjust. Was this a rib that we don’t know about?
No Quarter Given, No Power Bombs Found: I honestly can’t explain the sheer hilarity/absurdity of how this match came to be. Only video can do the build up justice.
That’s it? That’s what is supposed to get fans excited about your wrestling PPV’s main event? Okay, this isn’t about the mini-movie, but the match itself. And with a roaring crowd watching, Sting and Sid kicked this thing off in high gear with Sting trying to break Sid down with his patented strikes, only to be chokeslammed in a sick fashion. But with the help of Smith, Sting was not only able to recover, but also had The Masters reeling thanks to stereo shoulder tackles from the top rope. You could feel the crowd as they supported The Superpowers in their dominance that included Smith using a delayed vertical suplex on the 450 lbs. Vader. Just as things were going swimmingly for Smith, he ran into the brick wall known as the WCW champion.
Smith found himself on the receiving end of Sid’s wild haymakers and chin locks in-between Vader’s always-impressive hammer forearms that still scare the life out of me. Instead of relying on his own ability, Vader asked manager Harley Race to help him out by holding Smith for another Vader body block. Smith ended up breaking free of Race’s grip, sending Vader belly first into Race. Sting gained the hot tag seconds later, wearing out his opponents like only Sting can. Even when clotheslines from The MotP caught Sting, he rallied back by going super illegal with bites to Vader’s unmasked face before avoiding Sid’s elbow drop. Using the time Sting spent fighting to recoup, Smith was a house of fire when he tagged in.
Things seemed to be going great for The Superpowers when Vader’s massive girth enveloped Smith again. The attack left Smith prone for the Vader Splash and a Vadersault that almost crushed Smith’s head … literally. Thankfully for Davey Boy, Sting – who was fighting Sid on the old ramp WCW used to connect the entrance to the ring – came running down the ramp, sailing over the top rope before chopping Vader’s head to save his partner! The crowd immediately jumped out of their seats following the sight, giving Smith all the energy he needed to yank Vader down with the crucifix pin to pin the champion.
While it used the same formula from the first tag match, the main event kept their match shorter and more explosive. When you look at the names involved, this is exactly the type of match you’d expect – a wild, clash of the titans style battle. The only thing missing was The Superpowers destroying something of The Masters’. Hey, Vader and Sid blew up their boat!
The Super Grudge Match That’s Not So Super And Not So Grudgy: At the Clash of the Champions before this show, Maxx Payne used Johnny B. Badd’s confetti blaster – The Badd Blaster – to ruin Badd’s face. So what did Johnny do? B. Badd bought/crafted a pink, flowery mask that would make Little Richard blush. The match itself was five minutes of Payne showing off his amateur wrestling credentials that included a fujiwara arm bar – The Payne Killer – that is illegal in amateur wrestling unbeknownst to Schiavone, Payne obviously missing punches that Badd sold like death, Badd diving on an unprepared Maxx on the floor, and Badd winning off of a cross body block. That’s it. You want revenge, and you win with a cross body block? No busting the guy in the head with the thing that caused your disfigurement? No big move like a DDT on the ramp? Badd wins a “Super Grudge” match thanks to a cross body block. 1993 WCW, I truly hate you sometimes.
The War To Settle The Score (Or So We Think): After months of controversy over who is the true, undisputed WCW U.S. champion, Rick Rude and “The Natural” Dustin Rhodes squared off in a thirty-minute Ironman match. The only way to win is by getting more falls (pins, submissions, count out or disqualification victories) than your opponent in the time limit. The opening minutes saw Dustin dominate and attempt to humiliate Rude by working over his back while throwing some “Ravishing” pelvic thrusts in-between. The sight of Dustin’s junk jiggling is enough to make this a wrong, but WCW finds a better way to ruin this match. Everything was going well, with Rude picking up the first fall off of his Rude Awaking finisher fourteen minutes into this one.
With the clocking ticking down ever so slowly, Dustin exploded off of the ropes after ducking a wild right hand, using his Bulldog takedown to even the score. With one fall apiece and three minutes left, the urgency not seen throughout the battle finally kicked in for both men as they struggled over pinning combinations and big moves. Dustin seemingly hit the sweet spot when he dropped Rude with a DDT. As Dustin went for the cover, the time limit expired.
Instead of going into overtime, WCW went along with the show, leaving the fans just as confused as they were before the match started in regards to the U.S. title’s standing. If the finish was disappointing enough after WCW promoted it as the showdown that would settle everything, the match was rather slow and plodding for its majority. One year earlier at the same event, Ricky Steamboat and Rick Rude had the exact same stipulated match, and turned out a classic. Here, you just got a match that should’ve been better completely wrecked by a worthless finish.
The World Title Change No Realized Happened: Barry Windham and Ric Flair were tight once. They were even Four Horsemen together. But once Windham won the NWA title from The Great Muta, Windman’s view of Flair changed – causing a bitter rivalry topped off by violence. Sadly, heading into this one, Windham was suffering from a severe knee injury and gained nearly thirty pounds (according to an interview he did a while back). But the viewers don’t know this, so seeing Windham slightly pimp down the aisle just makes you assume he has the champion’s swagger.
Flair took the fight to Windham like only the nine time NWA World’s champion could, almost putting Barry to sleep in the early moments. Things turned in favor of the champion when Flair ran into a nasty looking Samoan drop. The back and forth action (that featured a lot of sloppiness during the homestretch) eventually led Flair clipping Windham’s left leg and putting him in the Figure Four Leg Lock. This is the part where it gets good. Though hurting from the submission, Windham immediately reached for the ropes. The ref started counting the champion down when he saw Barry’s shoulders were touching the mat. With the ref right above his head, slapping the mat and counting, Windham never realized that he was being “pinned”, and lost to the confusion of everyone, including Flair.
Though this match had no way of being as great as their clashes during the late ‘80s, Flair and Windham were on a nice road. Then the last few minutes occurred, and you had Windham struggling, Flair noticeably cautious in protecting in his opponent, and a finish that left you scratching your head. This should’ve been a huge moment in wrestling history with Flair becoming a ten time World champion. Instead, it was marred by a screwed up ending.
Is It A Classic: My memory of this event still holds up to this day. The tag matches relied on the same type of formula while being totally different from each other, and stole the show. Rude vs. Rhodes was a plodding. Flair vs. Windham was, unfortunately, ultimately forgettable. And the Grudge match was absolutely pathetic. If you feel the need to see any of this show, Google the tag matches and enjoy some quality wrestling. As for the show as a whole – it’s only worth buying at a low price like I did years ago, not for the outrageous prices seen on Amazon and Ebay.