If there is any lesson to be learned from the WCW / nWo Bash At The Beach 98′ pay-per-view it is that not just any Joe Bob off the street can step through the ropes and become a convincing pro-wrestler. Sports superstars Karl Malone (NBA’s Utah Jazz), Dennis Rodman (NBA’s Chicago Bulls) and Kevin Greene (NFL’s Panthers) are undeniably superb athletes but in the squared circle, they are rookies unable to take sophisticated bumps, execute complicated maneuvers or gauge the mood of the crowd.

What then is a poor booker to do? Stage slow-paced uncomplicated bouts which put the focus on personality not performance.

Basketball phenom and all around good guy, Karl Malone, took a Chicago Bull by the horns and got speared again at the Bash held in sunny San Diego, CA. Supplying the back-up for working man’s champion Diamond Dallas Page in a special tag match versus Hollywood Hogan and Dennis “The Worm” Rodman; Malone went toe to toe with Rodman renewing their bitter feud which ran throughout the NBA finals. The playing field was different, the result the same as Malone’s team went down to a humbling defeat.

Rudimentary headlocks, slams and clotheslines chewing up the dull 23 minute match time had the unenthusiastic crowd in attendance dispensing the “b-o-r-i-n-g” chants at regular intervals. What should’ve been a huge pop as a battered and bruised DDP hot-tagged Malone, got a less than spirited reaction. Malone hopped over top rope clotheslining Hogan and Rodman twice then individually slammed them. Grabbing them up off the mat by the scruff of their necks, Malone bonked their heads together.

As the nWo Hollywood tag team each received a Diamond Cutter, The Disciple snuck into the ring and stunned DDP with The Apocalypse. Hogan covered DDP for the pin. A frustrated Malone Diamond Cut The Disciple and the referee as Rodman and Hogan partied with the other nWo Hollywood members outside the ring.

Rodman,MaloneLiving out his boyhood dream tonight, Karl Malone exhibited a level of enthusiasm that would’ve had some veteran grapplers lurking backstage turning green with envy. The same applies to NBA bad boy Dennis Rodman who of the three sports stars, has the most promising future as a pro-wrestler. If the NBA lock-out does slam dunk this year’s b-ball season, Malone and Rodman (with some serious Power Plant training) could be entertaining assets to World Championship Wrestling.

At least they can sell a move which is more than can be said of the reigning WCW World Champion Bill Goldberg headlining the first of the two Bash At The Beach main events. Either the no-pain reaction is Goldberg’s gimmick or he just doesn’t fully understand the unspoken rule of making your opponent look good as a sign of respect and professionalism.

Clocking in at a scant three minutes and eleven seconds, Goldberg’s match against experienced nWo challenger Curt Hennig (minus sidekick Rick Rude) was short and none too sweet. Hennig was able to deliver some punishment to Goldberg’s knee via a knee breaker and a Hennig-Plex which the WCW champ kicked out of. The typical Goldberg ending of a football tackle (The Spear) followed by a Jack Hammer slam put Hennig away.

The next WCW / nWo pay-per-view is Road Wild on August 8th.

WCW Bash At The Beach ’98 Results

Raven Vs Saturn

: Energized match from two of wrestling’s best workers foiled by a confounding ending.
: Saturn is wearing real wrestling trunks and not jeans.
: Saturn places Raven on a table standing another table over him. As he is about to land the plancha from the top rope but Kanyon saves Raven?!?!? Saturn crashes through both tables. Kanyon Flatlines Raven in the ring. Saturn Death Valley Drivers Riggs. Raven Evenflows Saturn for the 1-2-3.

Winner: Raven at 10 minutes and 38 seconds.

Match Rating: 6 / 10.

Kidman Vs Juvie

: Unexpected lively match with Kidman and Juvie performing some amazing moves.
: At 9:33, Kidman misses the Seven Year Itch. Juvie lands the 4-50 splash.

Winner: At 9 minutes and 54 seconds, Juvie.

Match Rating: 8 / 10.

Stevie Ray Vs Chavo Guerrero

: Chavo enters wearing a blow-up pool toy around his waist and firing a water gun.
: Eddie comes out scissors in hand.
: Chavo really puts on a hilarious display mocking Stevie Ray. He dedicates the match to Uncle Eddie.
: Stevie Ray and Chavo are in a knuckle lock. Chavo purposely submits throwing the match in grand style. Stevie is ticked leaving the ring.

Winner: In 1 minute and 48 seconds, Stevie Ray.

Match Rating: 1 / 10.

Chavo Guerrero Vs Eddie Guerrero (Hair Cut Match)

Chavo: Chavo cleverly jokes around again at one point biting Eddie’s butt. Chavo has found his gimmick playing the goofy, psychotic clown.
: Chavo tried the Frog Splash on Eddie. Eddie puts both knees up. Eddie hits the Tornado DDT on Chavo. Chavo kicks out. Chavo goes for the scissors. As the ref attempts to take the scissors from Chavo, Eddie rolls him up. Chavo starts going postal so Eddie departs not wanting to deal with him in that state. Chavo sits in the middle of the ring shaving his own head…and doing a pretty good job at that.

Winner: Eddie Guerrero at 11 minutes and 54 seconds.

Match Rating: 4 / 10.

Disco Inferno Vs Konnan

: A special added match used as an excuse to bring out the nWo Wolf Pack.
: Nash and Luger accompany Konnan to the ring. Alex Wright is with Disco.
: Wright attacks Konnan outside the ring. Luger racks Wright. As the ref admonishes Luger, Nash ducks in and puts the Jack Knife Power Bomb on Disco. Konnan is victorious.

Winner: Konnan at 2 minutes and 12 seconds.

Match Rating: 1 / 10.

The Giant Vs Kevin Greene

: Are they really considering having Greene join the Horsemen? His multitude of miscues in this match are so embarrassing that the crowd is rooting for The Giant.
: Greene goes for the football tackle from across the ring. The Giant catches him in a Chokeslam.

Winner: The Giant at 6 minutes and 26 seconds.

Match Rating: 2 / 10.

Chris Jericho (champion) Vs Rey Mysterio Jr. (challenger) (Cruiserweight Title Match)

: Jericho comes out with a cane and hat willing to do a dance routine in the place of a match. What a guy!
: Joe Joe Dillon screws Jericho again by saying he has a “local indie” wrestler who “hasn’t wrestled in six months” as competition for a unscheduled No DQ title match.
: Jericho accepts replying…”Bring in this jobber right now. Chris Jericho equals buy rate!”. Bah. Ha. Ha. Love him or hate him. Jericho slays the mike.
: Surprise. Surprise. Rey Mysterio Jr. is the challenger! The ensuing match isn’t even close to their high-octane encounters in the past. Battling on the Bash’s beach display, Mysterio does a Hurracanrana off a life guard post.
: Malenko appears at 5:47. Jericho sets-up the Lion Tamer. Mysterio rolls through and pins Jericho.
: Malenko chases Jericho to the back where Arn Anderson foils Jericho’s escape!
: Malenko rams Jericho’s head into a WCW equipment truck.

Winner: …and new WCW Cruiserweight Champion…Rey Mysterio Jr. at 5 minutes and 39 seconds .

Match Rating: 6 / 10.

Bret Hart (challenger) Vs Booker T. (champion) (Television Title Match)

: Hart gets himself DQ’d by whacking Booker’s knee with a steel chair then executing his figure four around the steel post trick.
: Stevie Ray is slow to come to Booker’s aid. He helps a limping Booker to the back disgusted with his performance.

Winner: …and still WCW Television Champion…Booker T. at 8 minutes and 4 seconds .

Match Rating: 6 / 10.

Curt Hennig (challenger) Vs Bill Goldberg (champion) (WCW World Heavyweight Title Match)

Winner: …and still WCW World Heavyweight Champion…Bill Goldberg at 3 minutes and 51 seconds .

Match Rating: 1 / 10.

Diamond Dallas Page / Karl Malone Vs Hollywood Hogan / Dennis Rodman

Winners: Hollywood Hogan / Dennis Rodman at 23 minutes and 46 seconds .

Match Rating: 2 / 10.

Total Event Time: 2 hours and 40 minutes.

Overall Event Rating4 / 10.