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The Furious Flashbacks – WCW Spring Stampede 2000

June 21, 2007 | Posted by Arnold Furious
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The Furious Flashbacks – WCW Spring Stampede 2000  

The Furious Flashbacks – WCW Spring Stampede 2000

New Blood Rising

After the disaster that was Uncensored went into the history books WCW decided it was time for a change. The rudderless ship was actually far worse than anything that Bischoff or Russo had come up with in the past. Kevin Sullivan was sent home and Brad Siegel, the guy in charge of WCW for Turner, brought Bischoff AND Russo back. The idea behind it being that Russo helped turn the WWF around while Bischoff turned WCW around in the mid 90’s. Surely combined they’d be able to turn around WCW’s ailing fortunes in 2000. The idea was, on the surface, a good one because it got everyone talking about WCW again. Most people had forgotten WCW even existed during the first four months of the year. The WWF had been on such an enormous successful run of blowaway shows that WCW didn’t get a look in. Foley’s retirement angle helped build up towards Wrestlemania. After the biggest show of the year the WWF pulled the trigger on a Summer long Rock v Triple H program that killed WCW in the ratings. The plan from Russo & Bischoff was to reset everything. They’d start WCW all over again and to do so they’d strip all the champions of their titles and just start from fresh. It seemed no one had the patience to actually wait for the turnaround in WCW. Bischoff and Russo both knew this so they turned it around 180 in one night.

It was around this time that WCW bought out Mike Awesome. With all WWF talent locked down to long term contracts after the 1999 Jarrett disaster they needed to look elsewhere. They looked to Mike Awesome. He was ECW’s heavyweight champion and became one of the hottest properties in wrestling when WCW talent raided ECW to acquire him. However, once they’d actually signed Awesome it became abundantly clear they were clueless as to what he could do and buried him in a series of embarrassing midcard feuds and stupid gimmicks.

Going into Spring Stampede WCW had no champions. This meant every title was on the line and the viewing audience were guaranteed new champions across the board. For once WCW had a PPV card that people WANTED TO SEE. The original plan was to have Bischoff lead the WCW Originals (ahem) or rather the Millionaires Club of babyfaces against Russo’s New Blood. The Millionaires Club were originally seen as the heels in this because Russo saw them as the establishment and he was following the Internet line of hating the guys who’d been holding people down. The fans saw it the other way around and booed the New Blood for being jerks. There were some odd choices in terms of the New Blood as well with veterans Shane Douglas and Scott Steiner being lumped in with the new guys.

We’re in Chicago, Illinois. Hosts are Tony Schiavone, Mark Madden and Scott Hudson. I don’t really understand the logic of having two new guys on there and NOT getting rid of Schiavone, the worst commentator of their original trio. Plus Madden is terrible and Hudson is bland. At least it feels fresh, I guess but with these three guys you don’t need three guys. Hudson is trying to fill in for Tenay but he’s not as good while Madden has replaced Bobby Heenan but, obviously, he’s nowhere near as good. Plus Madden and Hudson have similar voices and are therefore hard to distinguish. Especially when Hudson is so bland.

CLIPS – we see Kidman pinning Hogan after Bischoff officially turned on Hogan. They then drive the infamous white Hummer into Hogan’s limo and send him to hospital.

Sidenote – Hogan had this huge tirade in his autobiography where he complains about being forced to put Kidman over. Ok, putting someone over and losing to them are two totally different things. And Hogan damn well knew this (see Starrcade ’97). When Hogan put his mind to putting someone over you could tell (see Wrestlemania 6). With Kidman he jobbed but did so after dominating the entire match and then put Bischoff and the angle over when Bischoff chair shot him down. He didn’t put Kidman over for shit. Russo knew this because he was watching Hogan control the angle and it got the point where Russo got sick of it. Of course his ideas were stupid and Kidman wasn’t the guy to feud with Hogan AT ALL from the New Blood but both sides have points. In WCW you have the rare situation where both sides were WRONG. Hogan WAS still a draw. His run in the WWE where he had that huge match with the Rock was testament to that. WCW just needed to find the right guy for him to feud with. But Hogan was wrong as well because his demands for constant main events were burying the company. He’d be better off as a special attraction, which people would actually pop for. His obsession with being permanently at the top of the card did no one any favours and stopped WCW from moving forward. In the end Russo was left with no choice but the process cut off his nose to spite his face. The ideal situation would have been WCW & Hogan coming to a mutual agreement on a release and having him go back to the WWE. His drawing power greatly reduced they could have done the Rock feud AND the Austin feud. Had both of them mean something and then gradually wound Hogan down like they are with the Undertaker now. Hogan didn’t help any situation he was put in though because he lives in his own world where “putting someone over” often involves crushing them over the course of 20 minutes, occasionally selling and winning the match anyway. Obviously Shawn Michaels GOT THE RUB of getting to work with Hogan. Ok, this is swiftly turning into a column so I’ll stop here.

BACKSTAGE Bischoff wants to know how Hogan got out of hospital. Kidman tells him to relax. They’ll just fire up the Hummer and finish Hogan off.

Tag title tournament – Mamalukes (Vito LoGrasso/Johnny Stamboli w/Disco Inferno) v Team Package (Ric Flair/Lex Luger w/Miss Elizabeth)

Mamalukes are now heel despite getting themselves over as niche babyfaces before the reset. Flair is instantly over as a face but everyone hates Luger still. Flair says this is going to be a fight so he’s wearing street clothes. As we’re about to get underway “Ironman” kicks in. It’s Vince Russo’s music? HAHAHA. What a joke. Russo’s buries the Mamalukes by claiming they’re not good enough to face Team Package 2 on 2 and send out the Harris Brothers to make it 4 on 2. Hmm, they would have been feuding with the Mamalukes before the reset. I guess Russo wasn’t watching Nitro. Can’t say I blame him, no one else was watching it either. The heels instigate a beatdown, as you’d expect, but the old timers come battling back. Johnny gets caught in the Figure Four but Flair lets it go early because no one has any timing in this match. Vito superkicks him. Harris Brothers in for a double boot. That gets 2. It also looked awful. The crowd is all about Flair here because the New Blood has become such a generic band of heels overnight that it’s hard to care about them and what they’re doing. Flair ends up wrestling the match by himself. He goes up top and waits to get thrown off. Ref misses a hot tag. That results in Flair getting a 4 on 1 shoeing and Disco posts Luger. Liz knocks him down. Hehe. Disco is so manly. He’ll be enjoying his time in the big house then. Two guys come out here and remove Disco Inferno. Tony doesn’t know who they are. He’s so helpful. He promises updates later although that probably means Nitro. Did we miss a hot tag with that lame angle? The heels are being made out to be jokes anyway because there are four of them and they’re getting picked off with ease. Johnny is showing some impressive athleticism but that doesn’t make him anymore interesting. Lex racks him for the win at 6.12. ¾*. Everyone seemed quite energised there but handicap matches are never any good. The dynamic sucks.

BACKSTAGE Mike Awesome is here and he’s the mystery 8th opponent in the US title tournament. In comes Bam Bam Bigelow to call Awesome a jabroni. Awesome heels on Bigelow and jumps him from behind. Wow, Awesome looks terrible in promos when he can’t swear and is aware that he can’t swear.

Jimmy Hart v Mancow Muller

Mancow would be a DJ. Hart calls him a “Howard Stern wannabe”. Mancow is from Chicago so he’s over. You’d question putting this on PPV though. Mancow has a serious entourage including half a dozen floozies and some of his comedy sidekicks. Sounds like a Howard Stern wannabe to me. Mancow calls Hart “a piece of shit” and sucks up to the fans. He then jumps Hart from behind. It’s a catfight! Hart goes low. More catfighting. Oh lordy, this is TERRIBLE. Mancow hasn’t even bothered learning anything making him an even worse celebrity guest than Dennis Rodman, believe it or not. The ref gets bumped. In THIS match? Jimmy Hart’s big musclehead buddy, whose name I can’t remember (it’s something Hale), comes in there and presses Mancow over the top onto his cronies. Heh, that was quite funny. Ref is still bumped. The cronies pass Mancow a chair, which he uses on Hart’s back. As if you need a chair shot to beat Jimmy fucking Hart. Pin is academic at 2.48. -**. Truly horrible but at least it was over.

POST MATCH out comes an angry Billy Kidman to beat the shit out of Jimmy Hart. He’s sending a message out to Hogan by beating up his manager. But Hart was wrestling heel and he’s representing a babyface? Erm, ok. Russo couldn’t do continuity could he? Did it HAVE to be Jimmy Hart in this match? I’m guessing he probably came up with the idea but should have been shot for doing so. Or is that shot down? No, I was right the first time.

BACKSTAGE Russo shouts abuse at the two tag teams who lost in the first match. Whatever. Was that really necessary? I think we could assume he did that anyway. It’s only on camera so Russo can throw something else at the wall to see if it sticks. Although in the process he totally emasculates four wrestlers. Russo wouldn’t psychically intimidate ME. Even if he had a baseball bat.

US title tournament – The Wall v Scott Steiner

Steiner comes out to the old “Steinerline” music thus making him the babyface. I think. They’re both from the New Blood. The idea is that this would be the future of WCW. Get rid of the old guys and then have the up and coming talent compete against each other. Up and coming talent like Scott Steiner; a guy who has been main eventing for ten years. Steiner pounds Wall down and the crowd loves it because no one has treated Wall that way. Steiner goes low and hits the white thunder belly to belly. The idea with the low blow not being a DQ was that Russo had demanded a more “relaxed rules” environment. Wall with a big boot and a legdrop. Heh. Tony doesn’t notice Wall just lifted Hogan’s finisher for a near fall. Wall overpowers Steiner, which is almost unthinkable given Steiner’s muscle structure. But Wall is big guy. He goes to up the ante somewhat by pulling out a table. Can’t we just have a straight up match? Wall goes to put Steiner through it but Steiner rakes the eyes and throws the ref in the way. Wall chokeslams the ref through the table and another ref comes out to say he can’t do that. Steiner wins on DQ at 3.53. ¼*. Steiner at least looked motivated.

So far we’ve had a handicap match, a celebrity match and a table spot DQ match. Too much “stuff” going on here. They need to take the pace down a touch.

BACKSTAGE Ernest Miller gets a promo. He says Awesome is a big redneck who can’t even dance until Bigelow jumps Miller and steals his place in the tournament.

US title tournament – Mike Awesome v Ernest Miller Bam Bam Bigelow

Awesome is making his debut after first appearing on Nitro attacking Kevin Nash. “ECW” chants the crowd because we now have ourselves an ECW dream match. Awesome takes over after Bigelow attacks and Awesome hits the SUICIDE DIVE! Tony is impressed. Bigelow gets backdropped into the front row and Awesome dives over the rail with a lariat. Awesome is winning this crowd over IN A HURRY. Back inside Awesome goes up top and hits a diving lariat for 2. How did they not see what they had with Awesome and push him to the moon? I guess someone in the back got scared. Bigelow goes up and drops the Flying Wolverine. He wants to finish but in comes The Cat to reclaim his match. He kicks Bigelow out of the ring. Cat says he’s going to put on his red shoes and dance for the people even though they don’t appreciate him. Something funny is about to happen. Here it comes. Awesome is up. LARIATOOOOO! Awesomesplash and Mike gets the pin at 3.59. *1/4. Too short to mean anything and complete with bizarre booking but it did help showcase Awesome. Although compare that to ECW’s showcase match against Masato Tanaka in Summer 1998 and you realise that WCW is useless. In four minutes here Russo booked a match, changed the participants, had the original match return, showcased a new wrestler in his debut and then booked a finish that involved one of the guys spending too long dancing. In four minutes. I hate Crash TV with a fiery passion.

BACKSTAGE Russo, who just pitched a fit at two tag teams not ten minutes ago, tells Eric Bischoff to relax. Kidman says he sent a message to Hogan by kicking Jimmy Hart’s ass. How many times is Russo going to book himself to appear on air tonight anyway? They already have this huge overloaded card and here he is in his fourth segment of the night already.

ELSEWHERE Buff Bagwell & Shane Douglas (representing the New Blood – HAHAHAHA. Bagwell a push I guess at 30, Douglas more so at 35) are one match away from the tag titles. Shane says he’ll close down Space Mountain tonight calling his act “bullshit”. It sure is a night for the potty mouths. Shame no one told Mike Awesome. Would have made his promo better.

Tag title tournament – Harlem Heat 2000 w/J Biggs v Shane Douglas/Buff Bagwell

The backstage promo should telegraph the outcome of this one. At least they’ve given Shane better music with a slight rip off of his ECW music. This match is terrible as well. The only decent worker out there is Shane Douglas so they run heat on Bagwell instead. The heat lasts all of 30 seconds before the “hot” tag. Tony starts talking about the “fresh man” coming in. This is ridiculous. Shane goes low on Big T who can’t be bothered to sell it properly and stands around looking winded allowing Douglas to finish with the Pittsburgh Plunge on Stevie Ray at 2.42. DUD. That was terrible. Absolutely pointless as well. They probably should have run the tag title tournament on free TV and finished it off on Nitro the night after this. Harlem Heat 2000 got squashed though, which is a bonus.

BACKSTAGE Booker T has interview time. He says he fought for opportunity in this company. He says wrestling Sting is all about business. He’s not really running the New Blood gimmick because he’s still a babyface.

US title tournament – Booker T v Sad Mime Sting

Sting is hugely popular. He’s also the only Millionaires Club guy in the US title tournament. Madden says he doesn’t like Sting “and that’s a shoot”. If I ever hear that word on a wrestling television show again it’ll be too soon. Anytime you use the word “shoot” you’re saying “hey, this is real. Everything else is fake but this is real” and it doesn’t draw attention to how “real” that moment is just how fake the rest of the show is. And calling a show fake where guys throw themselves back first into the canvas twenty times in five minutes is insulting. I also find Mark Madden insulting. This is a reasonably entertaining brawl. A cameraman gets knocked over. Sting gets dumped on the announce table. Crowd is into it. All good. Back into the ring the pace slows somewhat. Booker kindly slows the pace so Sting can get a breather while maintaining Sting’s aggressive style as he’s now being held down. Booker hits the Axe Kick for 2. Flapjack and the SPINNEROONIE! That gets heat showing how much the crowd wants Sting to win. Sidekick is ducked and Sting hits a desperation DDT for 2. Odd how the DDT, a stronger move than the inverted DDT, is a transition for Sting and the other a finisher. Stinger Splash hits once but gets met with Booker’s educated feet the second time. Sting improvises and hits a crossbody for 2. Booker with more kicks but Sting counters a slam into the Scorpion Deathdrop for the pin at 6.33. **1/2. Match of the night so far! Sting actually looked energised for a change.

BACKSTAGE Scheme Gene stirs the pot suggesting Hulk Hogan might turn up here tonight. Bischoff jumps at shadows. Kidman says he crippled Hogan’s ass on Nitro so if he does turn up he’ll send him back to the emergency room. Odd that Jeff Jarrett was the chosen one but Kidman gets to hang out with the two bookers all night.

US title tournament – Vampiro v Billy Kidman w/Torrie Wilson

Torrie looks amazing here. She’s worked on her body the whole time she’s been in wrestling but this would be the first time she really looked incredible. Vampiro & Sting were working a brotherhood in paint storyline before the reset that happily worked into the new v old storyline for Russo because he could just turn Vampiro heel. Yeah, why wait for something when you can just rush it through. Vampiro powerbombs Kidman release style where he throws him so Kidman can’t reverse it. He tries it again only closer in and Kidman obviously reverses it into the facecrusher. Madden flubs another line on commentary. “New great blood” is the latest error. It has to be noted the crowd just doesn’t care about this match. I can totally understand that because Kidman has no personality and Vampiro flat out sucks. Vampiro pulls out a chokeslam for 2. See, I hate Vampiro because he just hits one move after another with no rhyme or reason for it. He goes for another powerbomb, which is countered just as it was earlier. Did Vampiro remember doing the first one? Probably not. There is this little thing called psychology that Vampiro doesn’t know the meaning of because he’s too busy putting on his facepaint and trying to look cool. Trying to be a gimmick before a wrestler because he’s seen other gimmicks get over like that like Undertaker. Of course ignoring that Taker was a wrestler first and worked at his skills before adopting the gimmick. Vampiro just wants everything NOW, NOW, NOW. So instead of a nicely rounded gimmick you have a guy who thinks he’s got a great gimmick when all it does is emphasis what a shitty wrestler he is. Outside and Vampiro walks into the ring steps catching his knee. HAHAHAHA. That was so fucking lame. Back inside Vampiro ignores the knee problem and hits a spinning savate kick for 2. Kidman comes back with a fucking awful looking DDT ruined by Vampiro dropping to his knees, as he did with the second facecrusher. Meanwhile Hulk Hogan turns up backstage and makes his way into the building. Yeah, there’s your focus. Kidman shits himself. Hogan is out here. Kidman goes low but the ref ignores it. Hogan in the ring and Kidman puts the boots to him. Hogan grabs him by the throat and throws him outside. Isn’t that a DQ? I know we’re on “relaxed rules” but that is BLATANT interference. Hogan attempts to kill Kidman with the ring steps. Hey, old man, we have a match going on here! Hogan chokebombs Kidman onto the announce table. I guess the desk was supposed to break because Hogan slams Kidman through it right afterwards. Hogan throws Kidman back in and Vampiro pins for the win at 8.27. DUD. The wresting sucked before Hogan came out there but the interference heavy finish just buried Kidman. Tony claims Hogan didn’t come in to help Vampiro. HE MADE HIM WIN! HOW IS THAT NOT HELPING HIM? -* for booking this shit. -** for making me sit through another fucking Vampiro match later tonight.

BACKSTAGE Eric Bischoff thinks about running away. Vince Russo says he’ll take care of it. Bischoff cries about it like a little girl. Hogan gets backstage and starts ranting at no one in particular. Some random helper stooges Bischoff out but Hogan ignores him. So he starts checking random doors. Doesn’t he realise we can hear all this? Hello! There’s a microphone right there in front of you. “Where’s Bischoff?” “He’s in the office down there”. “Where’s Bischoff?” If they were trying to make themselves look stupid they’d have to go some to get dumber than they’re already booking. Hogan finds Bischoff cowering in the corner. The cops come in at Russo’s request though and they have Hogan arrested. Oh, geez, where did they get this idea from? The cops pull guns on Hogan! HAHAHA! Shoot him! That’ll learn him to mess with the booker. We segue right into Terry Taylor telling Terry Funk that Norman Smiley is hiding down in catering. Bischoff is still ranting. Funk goes looking for Screamin’ Norman. The entire crew stooge Norman out. Into the toilets where Norman is screaming, somewhere. Funk finds him and we have a match.

Hardcore title – Terry Funk v Norman Smiley

Funk assaults Smiley and drags him out of the toilets. “AAAAAAAAARGH” – Norman. Funk empties an entire chiller of coke onto Norman. Way to fuck up your catering department. Norman breaks out the lettuce washing hose. This match is hiding Funk’s lack of mobility, which is handy. Tony compares industrial cookie sheets to normal ones. They have a lot more torque apparently. I couldn’t make this shit up. How did Tony not get fired again? Funk comes back with a laptop shot for 2. “AAAAAAAAAAARGH” – Norman. Smiley has a ladder and climbs it but gets treed on a pipe. “Like a koala”. Funk gets a chair and nails him so he falls off through a table. That was only a small drop in case you were wondering. Funk starts throwing chairs around. Smiley comes back with a chair shot and he’s well in charge now and we head out into the arena. Funk bleeds from the elbow. Funk swings at a fan. Heh. Into the ring. Smiley chair shots Funk in the back of the head. OW! BIG WIGGLE~! Funk has a chair though and nails Smiley over his head. Funk pulls a ladder out. Sadly Dustin Rhodes runs out here because we can’t just have a straight up match can we? Dustin piledrivers Funk on a chair. The ladder is hanging and Smiley bashes Dustin with it. Funk throws the ladder at Smiley. Funk gets on top for the pin at 8.03. **1/4. It was fine until Dustin came out there. The hardcore elements of the match did well to disguise Funk’s limitations as an old aged wrestler. Smiley did a fine job of getting his character over in the process. Interesting to note that a match was getting over on it’s own and then Russo dumped heavy booking on top of it and ruined it.

Sidenote – Why continue the shitty Funk-Rhodes feud but reset everything else? What the fuck is that?

BACKSTAGE Russo tells Booker he should be grateful for the chance he’s getting and he should stop pissing Bischoff off. What’s that now? Six segments? You fucking egomaniac.

US title tournament – Mike Awesome v Scott Steiner

I’d question the booking of having this match. Awesome JUST debuted and Steiner is JUST coming back off a serious back injury. So they want to push them both. Why have them both in the same tournament? Steiner treats Awesome like a bitch on the mat before adding in the bicep kiss elbow drop and doing some push up’s to put the exclamation point on it. Steiner tries charging Awesome but Awesome catches him with a slingshot shoulderblock. Madden calls this “stiff”, which is another word that should never enter into on air wrestling vocabulary. Steiner goes low and hits the White Thunder belly to belly. Hudson complains about the lack of DQ’s tonight as some of the heels have flaunted the DQ rule. The crowd suddenly goes nuts because Kevin Nash is out here with his crutch, which he nails Awesome with. Erm, DQ? DQ? No? Steiner Recliner and Awesome has to quit in his second match after just 3.13. Way to bury your new signing jackasses! DUD. Steiner never should have been in the US title tournament. He should have been going for the WCW title.

BACKSTAGE Russo bitches at Dustin Rhodes. Russo namedrops Goldust and points out Dustin was nothing before it and he put every word in his mouth. Erm, yeah, in the WWF. Yeah, you’d better not miss what we did in the WWF. That stuff was AWESOME. But now Dustin Rhodes sucks. How is THAT going to help the product Vinny Ru? Simple answer is it’s not. It’s stupid. Seven segments now, btw. SEVEN SEGMENTS featuring Vince Russo. The guy who said when he went to WCW that he would NEVER put himself on TV. He’d have the WCW title before the year was out. WCW went out of business about a year after this show. Could there be some kind of correlation there? Oh no it can’t be Russo’s fault. It must be Standards and Practices because they wouldn’t let Russo say “shit” on TV. Yeah saying “shit” will sell tickets. That must be where it all went wrong for WCW. The same company that were convinced that family entertainment was the way to go because the WWF’s Attitude would offend viewers in time. The only bad thing in all of this is that WCW didn’t go out of business earlier so now I still have another six PPV’s or so to review.

US title tournament – Vampiro v Sting

Sting brings the psychology of the tournament because his makeup is still messed up from earlier. He hasn’t had time to fix it. Vampiro spin kicks Sting as he enters the ring thus ruining the entire storyline they had going about mutual respect. How to tank a three month storyline in 10 seconds by Vampiro! To be fair Russo probably told him to do it but it’s a case of one piece of shit tells another piece of shit what to do and he’s too stupid to argue it. Vampiro’s selling and bumping are atrocious here. It’s woefully inept stuff. Sting hits a top rope splash for 2. Madden thinks he’s frustrated because he couldn’t win. Oh yeah, with a move he’s never used as a finisher. He also doesn’t look frustrated AT ALL. Madden is just making shit up and it doesn’t even fit the storyline they’re telling. Who the fuck hired this asshole? Vampiro sets up for something up top but then decides he’s incapable of hitting it because Sting isn’t in the right place or something and gets down. Vampiro is SO bad. Such a total waste of space. Madden uses the word “overselling”. FUCKING DIE YOU FAT SHIT! You’re making Tony Schiavone look competent out there. I can’t watch this anymore. The match sucks. The commentary sucks. The booking sucks. Sting, with no build up, puts on the Deathlock for the win at 5.57. DUD. What an absolute piece of shit match that was. And they wanted to make THIS into a feud? It would help if Vampiro did anything right, which he didn’t. Not that it would help because this company is being slowly booked into the fucking ground.

BACKSTAGE DDP gets promo time. He says a bunch of generic Steve Austin rip off stuff that gets no reaction.

Six Way Clusterfuck Match – Shane Helms v Shannon Moore v Lash LeRoux v Juventud Guerrera v Chris Candido v TAFKA Prince Iaukea w/Paisley v Crowbar w/Daffney

Awesome, no Evan Karagias! There is a silver lining. Three Count sing. Erm, Two Count. They should change their name to “Near Fall”. They sing their shitty song, twice, wasting an enormous amount of time considering they have six guys to fit into this forthcoming match. Then everyone else piles in for a huge brawl. Juvi looks SO high. Paisley looks really hot. That’s about all I have. Crowbar and Candido run an RVD/Lynn thing only with some pretty serious timing issues. Lash comes in to look even less competent. When Lash hits his version of the Juvi Driver Tony hits a beautiful new low with “Signature Manoeuvre”. When he goes for it again “same move again”. Tony is so bad it’s painful. I’m acutely aware I’m listening to the worse commentator of all time. This guy makes Kriss Kloss sound good. Where’s Mike Tenay? Please bring him out here and fire everyone else. This degenerates into a total mess. Daffney “accidentally” hits a flying rana on Crowbar. How can you ACCIDENTALLY rana anyone? Daffney screams at Juvi, who sells it. Hehe. We start with the dives. Juvi manages a weak dive. I’m just impressed he was able to stand on the ropes given how high he looks. David Flair is out here. What the hell? Aren’t there enough people in this match? Candido picks off The Artist but misses a Flying Wolverine. Artist with a Samoan Drop, which is terrible for someone who’s FROM Samoa. Paisley throws in a chair for The Artist to finish this but Sunny runs in here, and I actually thought it was Ric Flair in drag (I’m not joking) to throw Iaukea onto it. Candido gets the pin and the WCW Clusterfuck title at 5.04. At least it’s not Oklahoma. ¼*. So much for pushing the cruiserweights though. There are six guys and they get five minutes complete with two run in’s. One of which doesn’t even factor into a near fall let alone the finish.

POST MATCH Paisley gets in Sunny’s face. Sunny can’t even catfight properly so Sharmell has to walk her through it. I know they’re following ECW logic about what gets over but that was when Sunny was still a little bit hot. By 2000 she looked pretty bad. Not as bad as she’d get but nevertheless. Plus most of the crowd doesn’t recognise her because she only managed Candido anywhere important when he was Skip.

BACKSTAGE Jeff Jarrett says he’s the Chosen One so he’ll be winning the title tonight.

WCW tag titles – Team Package (Flair/Luger w/Liz) v Shane Douglas/Buff Bagwell

Shane & Flair in the same ring? Oh yeah, it happened. For those not in the know Shane hated Ric Flair to a degree where he’d cut promos on him in ECW and other ECW competitors would do Flair moves in matches with Shane to piss him off. Flair is still wrestling in a shirt and slacks. Hudson says something about there being “heat” between Shane & Flair. Stop using inside terms! I guarantee you the crowd will miss half of it. Vince Russo thinks this is so important he comes out here with the heels, which pus him in his eighth segment of the night. Probably to offset Liz. He joins the commentary team. Aren’t there enough people on there already that suck balls? We don’t need another ball sucker calling this bout. Luger and Bagwell start. Words can’t convey how bad that stinks. Buff poses, then Luger poses. Shitty clothesline. Weak slam. Eye rake that misses by eight inches. Fuck this shit. Luger starts bumping stuff before it hits him. It’s like diving in football (soccer to you Americans) when there’s no contact. If the move is nowhere near you than stay on your feet. Luger was doing pre-emptive bumping because he didn’t want to get hit. Flair goes after Shane and somewhere in Philadelphia people are going WOW. But sadly in WCW no one has any idea about the history so there’s virtually no reaction. Madden is the latest person to swear dropping a “bullshit” on commentary. Why in the hell is Flair wrestling in slacks? He looks a confused old man. “Fuck you Flair” – Douglas. “That said it all right there” – Schiavone. Bagwell-Luger again and that sucks ass again. Russo has seen enough as the old timers take over. Buff miscues with a Blockbuster and Russo pulls the referee out so he can point out what a big tough New Yorker he is. Impartial referee Nick Patrick impartially shoves him. This is a distraction so KRONIK can stroll in slowly and hit High Times on Luger. Russo puts the ref shirt on himself to count the pin at 8.31. ¼*. I say “puts the shirt on” but he can’t even manage that. Dressing oneself is quite the challenge, huh Vince? And we need THAT much overbooking to protect Lex Luger? A fucking midcard jobber to the stars who hasn’t draw a dime in seven years? Whatever.

US title – Scott Steiner v Sting

Both guys cut backstage promos but nothing of importance is said. At least this has a ‘marquee’ match up vibe about it. Steiner is fresh after missing so much time with injury and Sting is one of the few over babyfaces in the company now Goldberg is injured. Steiner beats Sting down and shouts “he ain’t shit” loudly. I should have had a curse word count on this show. It’s as profane as a Rhino promo! Sting takes over with a pescado but another high flying moment sees him hit knees on a frog splash. Steiner press slams him. Steiner with a clothesline and bicep kiss elbow gets 2. Steiner starts fucking with the referee, which is something he’s known for. Steiner with an Exploder and he bails to jaw with the fans. Steiner’s focus is questionable. To the ropes with Steiner looking for a belly to belly superplex. Sting throws him off and starts hitting clotheslines. Steiner is a little slow to get back up. Stinger Splash! He goes for another one but the ref gets dragged in the way. Sting hits a third one anyway. Then Vampiro cuts a hole in the ring and drags him underneath like Undertaker did with Diesel in 1996. Just sayin’. The Sting-Vampiro feud begins in earnest then. “Brothers in paint” my ass. Sting is bleeding from the mouth when he comes back up and Steiner puts him in the Recliner for the win even though it should be a DQ for the ref bump. Thanks to “relaxed rules” aka “lazy booking” Steiner takes the bullshit win at 5.31 for the US title. *1/4. Meh. They had something huge there and fucked it up in favour of a stupid feud between one over the hill wrestler and one shitty wrestler.

WCW title – Jeff Jarrett v Diamond Dallas Page w/Kim Page

DDP struggles to find Kim backstage pre-match. This is a tell tale sign. Her legs look amazing btw. Someone off camera cheers DDP on. Madden continues his verbal assault on “DD Me” who he thinks is self centred. Gee, if Mark Madden thinks you’re self centred then maybe you are. This would be the only match that gets time tonight. I still don’t get the point of having two sets of tournament finals on a PPV as well as a stacked card on top of that. Jarrett gets out done in the early going but DDP hits a pescado. He sets Jeff up to get slapped by Kim who got hit with a guitar during the build up to this match. Into the crowd for DDP’s “People’s Champion” gimmick to return. The camera footage of that is weak. Back to ringside where Jarrett hides behind Kim and then sucker punches Page. Back inside for the sunset flip and DDP gets a near fall. Considering the importance of this match why is no one out here to watch it? We know that shenanigans are forthcoming because Russo can’t book a straight up match. You’d think the locker room would be around the ring or at the entrance. Or at least shown on monitors watching. It makes sense considering how important the title belt is. Jarrett with a chair to the back. Tony namedrops the WWF for some bizarre reason. Why acknowledge your competition? Jarrett works the back ponderously. He has a certain old school Memphis approach that some people appreciate. Normally I quite like it but for 2000 and the main event of a PPV it’s not great news. Especially when DDP doesn’t really have the chops to match it. DDP hits a sit out powerbomb and FINALLY someone is out here as Eric Bischoff joins us. Good job this match didn’t go the average length tonight or he’d have turned up after it was over. Jeff tries for a ring bell shot. When that misses he tears up a copy of DDP’s book. HEEEL! YOU DASTARD! Jeff crotches DDP’s groin, which really pisses off Kim and she drags Jarrett off. Jarrett goes back for more ring post action but DDP drags him face first into the post. Then its revenge time as DDP posts Jarrett’s groin. Except he doesn’t because the camera is close enough to reveal there’s no impact at all. Diamond Cutter but Jarrett has the ropes. Charles Robinson takes a lame ref bump and happens to look away as Jarrett uses the title belt for 2. Bischoff is now concerned and he’s closer to the ring. Figure Four from Jarrett. Kim has the guitar. DDP is fighting the Figure Four. Bischoff is leaning on the apron now. They lie around in the Figure Four for a while until DDP gets the ropes and rolls Jarrett up for 2. Jawbreaker from Jarrett cuts him off. Page catches him in a twisting urinage for 2. Jarrett with a sleeper. Bischoff is up on the apron as DDP reverses the sleeper. Bischoff grabs the ref. Kim is up on the other side. Diamond Cutter! Kim has the guitar and wants to smash it over Jeff’s head. If you can’t see this one coming you’ve never seen a heel turn. Kim bashes Page with the guitar and Bischoff finally let’s the ref go to count the pin at 15.00. **3/4. Going pretty well until the convoluted booking kicked in. Oddly enough the only match given any time is the best of the night and would have been even better without the booking.

POST MATCH all the scumbags (Jarrett, Steiner, Russo, Bischoff, Kim, Candido, Sunny, Douglas, Bagwell) come out here to celebrate winning all the titles tonight. This gives Russo his NINTH appearance of the evening. Joy.

The 411: Surprisingly refreshing after a dearth of horrible bottom feeding PPV’s. Of course compared to good shows this still isn’t up to much. It tops out at **3/4 and the booking sucks throughout because it’s Russo. But some guys finally show signs of life after months and in some cases years of inactivity. It was almost as if the WCW locker room sensed it had a chance to come back from the dead. Look at the ring when the show ends there and its all solid workers (apart from Buff). They were going in the right direction. They just didn’t follow through. The only belt not to go to the New Blood was the hardcore title and what difference does that make? None.
 
Final Score:  5.5   [ Not So Good ]  legend

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