–Gene Okerlund and Bobby Heenan do the studio duties and they do their best to sell the Shark as a legitimate threat to Hulkamania.
–A new Dungeon of Doom vignette sees Vader return in his mastodon mask. Vader says he has crossed a new dimension and now has more power than Hulk Hogan and Hulkamania and he will fulfill his destiny and win the WCW title at Bash at the Beach. The Master yells out more geography before he, Vader, and Kevin Sullivan scream “Vader time.”
–Heenan intimates that Commissioner Nick Bockwinkel is taking bribes and that he will discuss allegations against him tonight on the WCW Hotline.
–Heenan says that he likes what the Master is doing because he is making a direct run at Hulk Hogan.
–Hacksaw Jim Duggan & Marcus Bagwell defeat Kamala & the Shark (w/Kevin Sullivan) via disqualification for excessive double teaming at 7:18:
Tony Schiavone and Dusty Rhodes are on the call for this bout. WCW easily could have continued the Stars & Stripes team with Duggan taking over the Patriot’s role because he could have filled the power void on that squad and he already had the USA gimmick. Schiavone takes some subtle jabs at the Shark, using fishy puns where he can. For example, he warns fans that if a wrestler allows the Shark to get them into the corner that he will feast on them. Dusty also has fun, saying that the Shark hits Bagwell with “the ornament on that 67 Chevy!” when he actually uses Kamala’s mask. These jokes make the match tolerable. During the hot tag to Duggan, Sullivan chokes Bagwell and Kamala and the Shark do fat man splashes on Duggan, forcing the referee to call for the bell. Rating: ½*
–After the bell, the Dungeon of Doom continue their attack, with the Shark beating up Duggan with a 2×4 and Sullivan continuing to beat up Bagwell.
–Heenan says that he has heard reports that room service found Hulk Hogan hiding under his bed in Huntington Beach, California trying to avoid Vader. Okerlund does not believe it.
The Last Word: Hacksaw Jim Duggan has an uncanny ability to avoid jobbing when he probably should. He stopped Sergeant Craig Pittman’s undefeated streak and then his makeshift team with Marcus Bagwell should at least do a token job to put over the new heel stable but that did not take place. The Shark did look ridiculous, though, with a shark tooth around his neck and a weird shark tooth headband. Treating him as a new talent was also incredibly insulting to the average fan.
Backstage News*: Kevin Sullivan has officially become the new booker, replacing Ric Flair. The decision was made in a meeting among WCW officials on July 5. Eric Bischoff justified the decision on the grounds that Flair was unwilling to do forty hours a week in the Atlanta office – Flair said he could not because he did not want to relocate his family out of Charlotte and because he has several business ventures in the Charlotte area – and disagreements over Vader’s alignment with the Dungeon of Doom, the Renegade’s television title push, and Randy Savage being upset that he did not lose to outside interference at The Great American Bash. Flair does not lose all influence over the booking committee, though, as Arn Anderson will still be a member. These changes are not likely to cause Flair to leave WCW since he is under contract through 1997.
*The biggest impact of Sullivan taking over might be felt on ECW since Sullivan has contacts there and he might raid talent to shore up the company. Paul Heyman does not believe that because Sullivan might need to return to ECW if his WCW work goes south, but Sullivan could target the Headhunters, Public Enemy, Eddy Guerrero, Shane Douglas, and his wife Woman. Other independent talents getting a look include Al Snow and Glen Gilbertti.
*WCW has also made Terry Taylor and Paul Orndorff editors for television broadcasts and they started doing this at the recent WCW Pro tapings in Augusta, Georgia. They ordered matches redone if they were poor. Randy Savage was supposed to show up to that taping but no one told him about it. The company is creating new television and tag team title belts.
*In talent relations news, Mike Tenay and Lee Marshall received announcer tryouts and both were warmly received. It is unclear what role they would fill but they could be slotted in for the Monday night program airing in September.
*Manabu Nakanishi’s ring name will likely be Katana, meaning samurai sword.
*Backstage news was provided courtesy of Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer for July 17.
Up Next: WCW Pro for July 15!