Sunday, December 3, 2023

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From the Vault: Bash at the Beach 2000

Each Monday in From the Vault, a member of the staff will choose something from the WWE Network lineup and recap it, bringing attention to forgotten matches, memorable segments, and unforgettable moments that helped pave the way for what we see on television today.

This week, I have decided to take us back to the year 2000, for World Championship Wrestling’s answer to SummerSlam, Bash at the Beach from Daytona Beach, Florida. What started out as a chance to look back at the iconic Wedding Gown match between Daffney and Miss Hancock (who we all know as Stacy Keibler) became a trip down memory lane as the female influence in WCW storylines and matches were heavily featured.

God bless the WWE Network. While everyone in my little area is out celebrating Mardi Gras and getting drunk downtown for Joe Cain Day, I’m stuck here at home because my particular group of friends have decided to skip the celebrations this year and be responsible adults. In other words, the best friend is pregnant and Mardi Gras really isn’t fun unless you can get sloppy drunk and flash your boobs for some beads.

There’s nothing wrong with using your body to get what you want, and the women of World Championship Wrestling proved that on a weekly basis to us back in the day. Bash at the Beach back in 2000 was the perfect example of this. I picked this particular Pay-Per-View to highlight the Wedding Gown match between Miss Hancock and Daffney. The soap opera like triangle between Hancock, Daffney and David Flair had me gripped with every passing week. My teenage years were filled with angst and countless hours spent in front of the television watching Days of Our Lives, The Bold and the Beautiful and Passions, and I guess it’s fair to say Nitro was right up there with my trashy daytime shows.

Two girls fighting over one man wasn’t anything new or ground-breaking, and the feminist fanatics will probably sit there and shit all over everything about this because women don’t need men, blah blah blah. But that’s really not what this should be about. It should be about enjoying something for exactly what it was – campy, sexy, funny comedy and most importantly, storyline progression.

Before the match kicked off, they showed a video package that highlighted the history of this feud. David Flair was brilliantly painted as a two-timing low-life who was cheating on his fiancee, Daffney, with Miss Hancock.

Miss Hancock and David make their way to the ring first, and it’s no surprise to see what type of wedding attire Miss Hancock has decided to wear. It’s something that most blushing brides would wear for their man after hours if you get my drift, and once the couple get inside the ring, they start sucking face until Daffney makes her entrance and breaks it up with a low blow to David.

Keep in mind that the ring area has been set up to resemble a wedding reception complete with a cake, the match gets underway. Daffney goes right for Miss Hancock, brings her down, and starts slamming the back of her head into the mat. David comes to the leggy blond’s rescue which allows Miss Hancock to regain her composure and use the advantage to get a few cheap kicks in. David lets go and Hancock picks up Daffney and sets her up in the corner. She goes across the ring and shows off via a handspring back elbow. To add insult to injury, she shakes her butt right in Daffney’s face which doesn’t impress our favorite ‘Scream Queen.’ Daffney pulls Hancock down and then does it twice more with two very pretty snapmare takedowns.

Hancock kicks Daffney away from and throws her into ropes. Daffney is precariously close to that wedding cake, and she stops Hancock from shoving her face into. They reverse positions and now Hancock finds herself about to eat a face full of cake. David gets back in the ring and pulls Daffney off Hancock with some help from the referee.

They get the girls separated but these two really want to fight. Hancock and Daffney slap the offending men across the face before going right back at each other. They end up getting separated again and this time it’s Hancock who decides she wants to pants the referee. The referee has his shirt tucked into his tighty-whiteys and David Flair, of course, meets a similar fate at the hands of Daffney.

Daffney goes for Hancock again and brings her into the corner. She temporarily disposes of David with a low blow, then humiliates Hancock by throwing her face first into David’s unmentionable area. Hancock is horrified and starts apologizing to David, then turns her aggression towards her opponent. She begins clawing and ripping at Daffney’s dress, which is the entire point of the match mind. David goes outside the ring to grab the hair clippers he had brought with them. He grabs Daffney and subdues her, giving the clippers to Hancock. It’s obvious what they want to do and the referee does his best to stop it from happening. He ends up failing and just as Hancock goes to shave Daffney’s head, Crowbar comes from parts unknown to make the save.

Crowbar begins kicking David’s butt and after a moment, strips off his own pants so he doesn’t feel left out. He takes David, tosses him in the corner, and picks up the clippers. He gives them to Daffney and it seems like they have a plan to embarrass David for everything he’s done to Daffney. Hancock gets back in the ring with a microphone to break up the shenanigans and she decides to just dance and strip. The mesmerized referee breaks his trance long enough to call for the bell and give Daffney the victory, and she celebrates that by breaking up Hancock’s moment with a fist full of cake.

All four of them end up tangled up in a mass of frosting before David is able to grab Hancock and march her up the ramp and to the back. A dejected Daffney walks back up the ramp next, with Crowbar behind her. To his credit, he tries to comfort her but she just brushes him off. She might have won the match, but she lost her man, and for any woman, that’s always a bitter pill to swallow.

Miss Hancock versus Daffney was fun and extremely light-hearted. It was perfect for its time. That sort of thing would be frowned upon in this day, but I personally enjoyed it. Stacy Keibler and Torrie Wilson are my Trish Stratus and Lita so to speak, and Torrie had a huge role at this show as well.

Torrie Wilson made her presence felt during the Shane Douglas/Buff Bagwell match. She came down to ringside, seemingly to cheer on Bagwell after slapping the kisser of the Franchise. When Bagwell finally noticed the blond bombshell, he invited her into the ring. They shared a smooch and when Bagwell turned around to show boat, Torrie hit him from behind with a low blow.

Douglas was able to capitalize and pin Bagwell, but Buff was able to kick out. Torrie factored in once again, this time grabbing the leg of Bagwell when he went to the top rope. Buff retaliated by grabbing the blond by the hair and throwing her off the apron, but it was to no avail.

He got caught by the Franchise who had brought Torrie to his side and got the win. Much like Francine was to Shane in ECW, it appeared that Torrie was taking that job in job in WCW especially when their union was sealed with a kiss!

Torrie wasn’t the only valet to have a major role in a match at Bash at the Beach. The ongoing feud between the Filthy Animals and Misfits in Action featured interference from MIA’s Queen Bee, Major Gunns, despite both factions being banned from ringside. Lieutenant Loco (you may know him as Chavo Guerrero Jr.) was taking on Juventud Guerrera for the Cruiserweight Championship.

As you can see, the Filthy Animals had their own Queen, former Nitro Girl, Tygress. Unlike her counter part, she wouldn’t really factor into the outcome of the match, which is kind of a shame. The match itself was a lot of fun, with both factions eventually sneaking down to the ring under masks. The Filthy Animals weren’t able to get away with it and were sent to the back, but when MIA tried it, they did so without one of their members. While the referees were trying to send the guys to the back, Major Gunns sauntered down to the ring with a plan in mind.

Her plan? Stripping of course and it was enough to distract Juventud and give Loco the victory. The Misfits celebrated their win and their championship, while the Filthy Animals were forced to lick their wounds and go back to the drawing board.

Perhaps the most unique thing that took place during this show was a graveyard match. It featured the sadistic Vampiro, who had set Sting on fire a month earlier, taking on “The Demon” Dale Torborg. Torborg’s real-life fiancee and WCW personality, Asya, would end up heavily involved in this one. Torborg tried to get her to stay behind, but she refused to leave his side so Torborg told referee, Charles Robinson, that it was going to be up to him to keep Asya safe.

They went on a hung for Vampiro, who was actually up in a tree. He would attack Torborg and it all went downhill from there. While The Demon was being subdued by Vampiro, Asya would get involved and kicked Vampiro in the back to give her man a break. The only thing this accomplished was making Vampiro more determined. She did her best to stop Vampiro from dragging her man into an empty grave and because of her actions, she ended up in trouble. Vampiro grabbed her by the hair and took off with her, and eventually The Demon and Robinson found her shaking by the edge of a pond. Vampiro emerged from the water and attacked Torborg, and after disposing of him again, he grabbed Asya and took off with her. After Robinson fished Torborg from the water, they continued their search for Vampiro and Asya. They found her unconscious body beside a closed coffin.

Vampiro rises from the coffin, as you would expect, and he knocked The Demond out with a piece of a cracked headstone. The Demon is dumped inside the coffin and pushed into a six foot grave. Vampiro throws a burning torch inside of the grave, spits, and tells The Demon to say hell to String in Hell for him. Later on in the night, Vampiro made it back to the arena and came out to the ring, which is all you needed to do to win the match. Vampiro announced The Demon dead and bragged about destroying both The Demon and Sting. Several druids dressed in Sting masks walked out to the ring carrying a coffin. Vampiro looked shaken up by the scene and went to open the coffin and someone, perhaps Sting himself, attacked Vampiro. Vampiro winds up unconscious and inside the coffin and whatever happened to The Demon and Aysa wasn’t revealed on that particular night.

That graveyard match was probably my favorite part of the entire show, to be honest. It was just different. I love gimmicky type of things, as long as they’re not too overdone, and everything about that just screamed GIMMICK.

There’s one last thing to mention before we wrap up here. I told you this show was heavy with female influence. LOVE IT! The woman who would arguably go on to become the Queen of WCW, Midajah, also appeared alongside her man, Scott Steiner, for a match against Mike Awesome. It was for Steiner’s United States Championship.

Midajah was involved in the match, but not in the vixen-type of way the rest were. She was out there getting the crowd involved, supporting her man, and hanging on to that championship until it was taken from her hands by Ernest “The Cat” Miller. He would strip Steiner of the belt after Steiner used one of his trademark moves, the Steiner Recliner on Awesome, which had been banned by the commish. What Midajah brought to the table was charisma and presence, she looked amazing at the side of Scott Steiner. I can honestly say that they were my favorite team when I was younger. I just loved everything about them. She was so loyal to him and their looked so gorgeous together. She wasn’t your typical blond bombshell. Midajah was exotic and sensual, and someone who had managed to gain top girl status for the bad boy who called himself “the big bad booty daddy.”

I was so devastated when WWE bought WCW, even though the company had been run into the ground at that point. It was the end of an era for me, because WCW was all I really knew. Sure, I had gone and rented videos of old shows and know about WWE, but it wasn’t what I watched live. Raw was taped and watched later on in the week in my house. Nitro was top priority and those women who were objectified, used for their looks, and placed in countless storylines and matches became my heroes. No matter how small the role, they went for it. They brought everything they had to the table. I respected that, I admired that, and I wanted to be involved in that.

Wrestling didn’t work out for me because it wasn’t the path I was meant to take. But it was my childhood and for a very long time, it was all I ever wanted out of life. The WWE Network has given me the chance to go back and watch what I fell in love with way back when, and I’m stoked to continue watching all these older shows.

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