Mega Powers Running Wild!

The legendary 'Macho man' Randy Savage teams up with 'The Immortal' Hulk Hogan to take on Ted Dibiase and Andre The Giant in the first ever WWF Summerslam!

Shawn Micahels vs. Mankind

The Heartbreak Kid defends the WWF Championship against Mankind in a thrilling main event at WWF In Your House: Mind Games.

The Birth of the nWo

From Hulk Hogan's shocking turn at WCW Bash at the Beach 1996 to the addition of Ted Dibiase, THe Giant Syxx and more, relive the very beginning of the New World Order.

Austin 3:16 Says I Just Kicked Your Ass

It's one of the most famous promos of all time; Stone Cold Steve Austin wins the 1996 King of The Ring and serves notice on all the WWF superstars. Check it out in our complete review

Wrestlemania 12 Review

The boyhood dream comes true as Shawn Michaels battles champion Bret 'The Hitman' Hart in a classic 1-hour iron man match. Plus, Diesel vs. Undertaker and more.

WCW Fall Brawl 1996 Review

Was Sting in cahoots with the New World Order? Would Lex Luger be able to get along with the Four Horsemen as they faced the nWo in War Games? Find out in this review

Thursday, 21 May 2020

PPV REVIEW: WWF Unforgiven 2000

WWE / WWF Unforgiven 2000 - Event poster
September 24, 2000
First Union Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

In the world of professional wrestling, Philadelphia will perhaps always be synonymous with the defunct yet fondly remembered Extreme Championship Wrestling. 

Yet the City of Brotherly Love had also played an important part in the WWF's history, too.

It was here, in the exact same arena and almost exactly two years to the very day of tonight's show that the World Wrestling Federation had given us In Your House 10: Mind Games.

Taking place at the tail end of the New Generation Era, that show marked a noticeable shift in the tone of the company's on-screen product.

With an ECW invasion, several "off-colour" comments, and a brutal Mankind/Shawn Michaels, Retro Pro Wrestling has always considered Mind Games to be one of the pivotal events in the development of the Attitude Era.

So it was fitting that, with said era now in full bloom, the company returned to the First Union Center for their annual September PPV, bringing with them many of the things we fondly remember from that time period.







From key stars like Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock to the daredevil antics of Edge, Christian and The Hardyz, attractive women like Trish Stratus, and much more, the Attitude Era was in full glory as the WWF presented Unforgiven 2000.

May God Have Mercy on Their Souls

Sticking with the Unforgiven brand’s usual spooky, creepy theme, tonight’s opening video package had a haunting, dramatic score with a chilling voice-over which at one point told us that Judgement Day was upon us.


It wasn’t. That was the following month.

All of this was to show us tonight’s three big selling points:

Stone Cold Steve Austin making his triumphant return to try and find out who ran him over back at Survivor Series 1999, a big, multi-man match for the title, and  Triple H taking on his love rival, Kurt Angle.

Pyro, crowd shots and a welcome from Jim Ross followed. Then, after some words from Ross and his broadcast colleague Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler - it was onto our opening match.

Eight Man Tag

The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D’Von Dudley) & The Acolytes (Farooq & Bradshaw) vs. Right to Censor (Steven Richards, Bull Buchanan, The Goodfather, and Val Venis

WWE / WWF Unforgiven 2000 - Right to Censor faced The Dudley Boyz and The Acolytes
If you were going to get the Philly crowd riled up and ready for action, sticking Steven Richards against his fellow ECW alumni The Dudley Boyz was a good way to do it.

Richards was joined by his Right to Censor cohorts Bull Buchanan, The Goodfather and new recruit Val Venis, while The Dudleyz had Farooq and Bradshaw on their team.

The match wasn’t as good as many of the company’s other PPV openers from this time period, but it was short, hard-hitting and engaged the crowd, which is all anyone could have asked for.

After staying on the apron for the entire bout, three devious Richards have his team the assist and picked up the second PPV victory in a row for Right to Censor.
Your Winners: Right to Censor

Afterward, the good guys got their revenge by beating up RTC and putting Steven Richards through a table to the delight of the audience.

WWE / WWF Unforgiven 2000 - HHH warned Stephanie McMahon that Kurt Angle is not her friendKurt Angle is Not Your Friend, Steph

Backstage, Stephanie McMahon was concerned about her husband’s ribs after Kurt Angle attacked them with a sledgehammer, but Triple H was more concerned with how badly he was going to hurt Angle.

Steph was fine with that and apologised for thinking that the Olympic Gold Medalist had been her friend, prompting The Game to reel off a long list of reasons why he wasn’t, all of which basically came down to Angle being a bit of a d**k.

Strap Match
Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler vs. Tazz

The ECW vibe continued next as Tazz looked to settle his rivalry with Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler in a strap match which Howard Finkle told us could end either via pinball/submission or the good ol’ fashioned touch-all-four-corners rule.

WWE / WWF Unforgiven 2000 - Tazz chokes out Jerry Lawler in front of Jim Ross
These two had met at the previous month’s Summerslam 2000, resulting in a win for the King when JR smashed Tazz in the face with a glass candy jar.

This time, it was Tazz’s turn to pick up the win, though not without a little help of his own.

After a few minutes of fairly reasonable action, the two went through a fun spot in which Lawler twice his patented piledriver on his rival, only for The Human Suplex Machine to pop right back up again.

Lawler then hit a third piledriver and Tazz once again popped right back up, only to look around and Flair Flop right into the mat.

After that entertaining bit, Lawler started to drag his opponent to all four corners. As he did so, the referee got bumped, creating an opportunity for ECW legend Raven to make his WWF debut and plant King with his trademark Even Flow DDT.

Tazz got the cover and this one was done.
Your Winner: Tazz

WWE / WWF Unforgiven 2000 - Kevin Kelly interviews a returning Stone Cold Steve Austin
In between each match, we saw Kevin Kelly hanging around backstage waiting for the arrival of Stone Cold Steve Austin.

When the Texas Rattlesnake finally arrived, Kevin asked him how he was feeling.

“Stone Cold isn’t here to answer questions,” Austin replied. “Tonight,  I’m asking the questions.”

With that, he beat up Kevin Kelly before we went back to the arena where Michael Cole had taken over Lawler’s spot on commentary.

“Well, I don’t think Austin wants to answer questions. I think he wants to ask them,” said Cole, repeating exactly what Stone Cold had just said.

World Wrestling Federation Hardcore Championship Open Invitational
WWF Hardcore Champion Steve Blackman vs. WWF European Champion Al Snow vs. Crash Holly vs. Test (w/ Trish Stratus) vs. Funaki vs. Perry Saturn (w/ Terri)

WWE / WWF Unforgiven 2000 - Perry Saturn and Terri
For those keeping score, this was the third match in a row featuring former ECW stars as Perry Saturn and the man who beat him for the European championship took part in this ten-minute hardcore free-for-all.

Following a similar format to the hardcore title match from Wrestlemania 2000, the idea was that you had to pin the champion and then whoever had the gold at the end of ten minutes would be crowned champion.

Crash Holly won it early on but then got pinned by Perry Saturn about ten seconds later.

Saturn held on to it for most of the match but was then pinned by Steve Blackman with sixty seconds to go, causing everybody in the match to pile on him in a last-ditch desperate effort to claim victory.

When said effort was unsuccessful, the timer ran out and Blackman was declared the winner after a fun but unspectacular match.
Your Winner and Still WWF Hardcore Champion: Steve Blackman

In a hilarious backstage skit, Kurt Angle finished showing off his medals to Tony Garea and some lanky dude with glasses, turned around and met Stone Cold Steve Austin for the first time.

Introducing himself, Angle offered Austin an honourary Olympic gold medal but Stone Cold wasn’t impressed. He promised to insert the medal up Kurt’s bottom and then beat him up.

It’s hard to explain in words how funny that was.

X-Pac vs. Chris Jericho

WWE / WWF Unforgiven 2000 - X-Pac battled Chris Jericho
These two had met at the exact same PPV, Unforgiven 1999, a year earlier, and had also done battle at WCW Halloween Havoc 1996. This particular match wasn’t quite to the standard of either of their past encounters, but it was still a damn good effort that got better the longer it went on.

After struggling to gel in the early going, both men eventually found their grove and gave us a solid seesaw battle which ended the right way with Chris Jericho making X-Pac tap to the Walls of Jericho.
Your Winner: Chris Jericho

Post-match, X-Pac avenged his loss by grabbing a pair of nunchucks and whacking Y2J with them.

Kurt Complains to Mick

Out in the back, Mick Foley was interrupted from preparing for his guest referee role in the upcoming Angle/HHH match when he was interrupted by Angle himself.

The Olympic Gold Medalist declared that despite getting beat up by Austin, he was still ready to go tonight because he had problems before the Olympics too.

‘The day of the Olympics, I had IBS’ said Kurt.
‘You do BS’ replied Mick.

The exchange went on and was funnier than I could describe here. The point of it was that Mick made the upcoming Angle/HHH bout no DQ so that he would have less work to do.

A Rock/Austin Reunion

WWE / WWF Unforgiven 2000 - Just Joe stirs the pot with Steve Austin and The Rock
Backstage, Stone Cold Steve Austin met up with his former arch-rival The Rock.

The two shook hands and announced that they were cool with one another, but Austin still wanted to know how The Rock’s car had been involved in the hit-and-run which had taken him out of commission way back at Survivor Series 1999.

The Rock had no idea but Just Joe (remember him? http://wrestlecrap.com/inductions/justjoe/) - the man better known as Joe E. Legend popped up and told Austin he had some news for him, but Austin just beat him up instead.

World Wrestling Federation World Tag Team Championship Cage Match
WWF Tag Team Champions Edge & Christian vs. The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff Hardy)

Well, obviously this was awesome.

WWE / WWF Unforgiven 2000 - Christian slams the cage door on Jeff Hardy
Though it may not have been their most memorable encounter, Edge, Christian and The Hardyz always delivered and tonight was no exception.

With pinfalls or cage escape rules applying, this was one of the more unique cage matches in the WWF’s history, at least in terms of storyline.

Jeff Hardy got knocked to the outside in the early going, leaving his brother Matt Hardy at the mercy of the tag team champions.

Every time Jeff tried to get back in the cage and make the save, Edge and Christian got the better of him and continued to beat Matt to a bloody pulp.

Eventually, we got the inevitable Hardy Boyz comeback, complete with a run-in from Lita who hit Christian with a sick-looking hurricanrana from Off the top of a ladder on the outside.

The drama and excitement came to a head when Matt and Jeff drilled Edge with a Conchairto on top of the cage.

Edge took a sick bump down, The Hardyz climbed to the outside and this one was done.
Your Winners and NEW WWF Tag Team Champions: The Hardy Boyz

WWE / WWF Unforgiven 2000 - Triple H warns Mick Foley to be impartial in his match with Kirk Angel
Out in the back, Stephanie McMahon was so thrilled to see Steve Austin back that she revealed she’d spent the past year holding on to the hat he was wearing the night he got run over.

Returning the hat to its rightful owner, Steph also let Austin know that Shane McMahon had actual video evidence of the mystery assailant’s identity.

Across the way, Steph’s husband Triple H confronted Mick Foley to ensure he was going to call the match right down the middle later.

Trouble in Paradise

Before our upcoming Intercontinental Championship match, we got a look at the rift between Eddie Guerrero and his Mamacita Chyna.

Eddie had grown jealous of Chyna’s success and ended up not only stealing the Intercontinental Championship from her but also going so far as to stalk The Playboy Mansion to try and stop her from taking nude photos.

Naturally, Chyna was ready to leave so a desperate Eddie proposed.

Chyna said yes, and the two were all smiles as they made their way out for Guerrero’s match with Rikishi, but how long would their reconciliation last?

World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Championship
WWF Intercontinental Champion Eddie Guerrero (w/ Chyna) vs. Rikishi

WWE / WWF Unforgiven 2000 - Rikishi confronts Chyna while Eddie Guerrero gets set to pounce
Before the match, a somber-looking Jerry Lawler returned to commentary. He soon cheered up when talk turned to Chyna’s upcoming Playboy spread.

The match itself was OK for what it was, but it was mostly an angle to further the Eddie/Chyna story.

At one point, the heelish champion tried to bail on the match, but Chyna demanded that he man up and threw him back in the ring.

After that, however, she kept interfering on her man’s behalf, making the challenger more and more aggravated.

Eventually, Rikishi grabbed Chyna, tossed her in the ring and kicked her in the mush.

By some bizarre logic, this led to him being disqualified.
Your Winner via DQ and Still Intercontinental Champion: Eddie Guerrero

Post-match, ‘Kishi hit he Bandai drop on Chyna.

Undertaker Will Become Champion Once Again

WWE / WWF Unforgiven 2000 - Jonathan Coachman interviews The Undertaker
Out in the back, a tobacco-chewing Undertaker told Jonathan Coachman that the ring was his yard and he was the big dog that ran it.

Tonight, the American Bad Ass vowed to send his opponents on their Last Ride and become WWF Champion once again.

Elsewhere in the arena, Kurt Angle bemoaned his luck tonight. Trish Stratus offered to be there for him if he needed a friend. Somehow, Trish touching his shoulder gave the Olympic Gold Medalist a flash of inspiration and he ran off, declaring that he had an idea.

His match was next.

No Disqualification
Kurt Angle vs. Triple H (w/ Stephanie McMahon)
Special Guest Referee: Mick Foley

Before the bell, Kurt tried to lead the crowd in singing ‘happy birthday’ to Steph. Naturally, the crowd were having none of it.

WWE / WWF Unforgiven 2000 - Triple H vs. Kurt Angle with Commissioner Foley as special referee
This was a great match with a somewhat underwhelming finish.

Kurt Angle dominated practically the whole thing, dominating HHH from bell-to-bell and looking like a superstar in the process.

Then he missed a moonsault. A few seconds later, Steph kicked him in the bollocks, Hunter hit the pedigree, and it was all over.

Look, I have no problem with HHH winning. This match definitely put Kurt over more than it did The Game. It just seems weird that he would spend twenty minutes getting his ass kicked and then win with one move.
Your Winner: HHH

Post-match, a remorseful Steph checked on Kurt. HHH kissed her so hard that he bust her lip open and the two went backstage.

After the carnage, we cut to WWF New York, where Too Cool we’re dancing away for the crowd.

Blackman Did it

Out in the ring, Shane McMahon revealed that he didn’t really have footage of Austin getting run over after all.

WWE / WWF Unforgiven 2000 - Shane McMahon got Steve Blackman in trouble with Steve Austin
What he had was footage from a 1999 episode of Raw in which Steve Blackman ran over Ken Shamrock.

According to Shane, that was conclusive proof that The Lethal Weapon was to blame.

This brought out both Steves, Blackman to profess his innocence and Austin -complete with his new Disturbed theme (that wouldn't be officially released until 2002's Forcible Entry album) to kick some ass and raise hell.

You got the feeling that Austin didn’t believe Blackman was the real culprit, he obviously stunned him anyway.

Shane then encouraged The Texas Rattlesnake to join him in a beer bash. Austin did so, but then predictably battered Shane O’Mac with a couple of crowd-popping stunners.

The segment might have been kinda dumb, but it was awesome to see Stone Cold raising hell again after so long away.

Finally, The Rock has Come Back to Philadelphia

After a great video package promoting tonight’s main event, the WWF Champion cut a captivating promo in which he promised to shove his opponents’ heads so far up their backsides that they’d have to cut holes in their nipples just to see..if you could nasally detect the meal he was preparing.

This was, as always, awesome stuff from The Great One.

Fatal Fourway for the World Wrestling Federation Championship
WWF Champion The Rock vs. The Undertaker vs. Chris Benoit vs. Kane

WWE / WWF Unforgiven 2000 - Michael Cole interviews WWF Champion The Rock
This certainly wasn't the worst main event in history, but the World Wrestling Federation could -and often would- do a lot better.

The Rock and Chris Benoit were the two best things in the match by a large margin, but even they couldn't top their effort from several months earlier at Fully Loaded 2000.
 Speaking of that match, we got a similar false ending as Benoit levelled Undertaker with a chair and pinned him for the title, but Mick Foley restarted the match after it was revealed Undertaker's foot was on the rope.

Yes, that was the second time in three months that Chris Benoit had *almost* been the WWF Champion.

The match continued and was fine for the most part, but it was -like so many things on this show- somewhat underwhelming.

Eventually, The Rock planted Benoit with the match-winning Rock Bottom at 16 minutes.
Your Winner and Still WWF Champion: The Rock

Post-match, The WWF Champion celebrated with his title to bring Unforgiven 2000 to a close.







And so, that was that.

The World Wrestling Federation had given us a number of exceptional pay per views in the year 2000 but, unfortunately, this wasn't one of them.

The tag team cage match was the highlight of the night, and I have to admit that Kurt Angle looked impressive while solidifying his main event status against Triple H, but there was a lof of sub-par action on this show, not to mention odd booking choices.

Why was Rikishi disqualified for attacking Chyna?
Why was HHH able to beat Angle so easily after getting his ass kicked for ages?
Why, when Rock hit Benoit with the Rock Bottom, did Kane prevent The Undertaker from breaking up the count and thus cost himself the title?

Who knows?

This was an off night for the WWF. Hopefully they'd bounce back the following month.



For other year 2000 pro wrestling reviews see:
Other WWF Unforgiven reviews:
Be the first to catch the latest Retro Pro Wrestling reviews by following on Facebook or Twitter @RetroPWrestling.

Thursday, 14 May 2020

PPV REVIEW: WCW Fall Brawl 2000

September 17, 2000 
HSBC Arena in Buffalo, New York

The interesting thing about reviewing World Championship Wrestling pay per views from the year 2000 is that you occasionally remember you're reviewing the last ever edition of a particular event.


Such is the case tonight, when it occurs to me that this particular show was the final outing for WCW Fall Brawl, an event which began life as a Clash of the Champions special back in 1988, and had been its own distinctive PPV since 1993.

This was a show that had given us The Shockmaster back in '93.

This was a show that had given us a War Games match every year until 1999.

This was a show that had given us countless matches, some good (Benoit vs. Jericho) and some terrible (Jim Duggan vs. Berlyn) and now, ladies and gentlemen, it was all over.

Join me, as we head to Buffalo, New York for Fall Brawl's final fling.






Let's Play With Wrestling Figures

In an attempt to put over just how serious and intense tonight's main rivalries were, our opening video package interspersed real-life footage of the Scott Steiner/Goldberg and Kevin Nash/Booker T feuds with clips of each man's respective action figures.

This took us down into the arena for our opening pyro and a welcome from the ever-present Tony Schiavone. Along with his usual colleagues Scott Hudson and Mark Madden, Schiavone was hyped for tonight's show and ready to call the action.

World Championship Wrestling World Cruiserweight 100 Kilograms & Under Championship
Kwee-Wee (w/ Paisley) vs. Elix Skipper (w/ Major Gunns)

Major Gunns was apparently a reluctant member of Team Canada.

She spent most of her time on the outside looking gorgeous and actively rooting against Elix Skipper, encouraging the crowd to chant "USA! USA!" as the 100 Kilograms & Under Champion gave us a spirited performance.

Though this old-school fan still pines for the days when Rey Mysterio Jr, Psicosis, Juventud Guerrera and Dean Malenko were the heart and soul of the cruiserweight division, I have to admit that this was a very good effort from Skipper and Kwee Wee, both of whom were making their WCW PPV.

Towards the end of this enjoyable back-and-forth battle, Kwee Wee was attacked by Mike Sanders (remember him?) but that wasn't quite enough to put him away.

A short time later, however, Skipper hit his sweet-looking "Overdrive" finishing move to retain the gold.
Your Winner and Still Cruiserweight Champion: Elix Skipper

After a little banter from our announce team, it was straight onto the second match of the evening.

3 Count (Shannon Moore, Shane Helms, and Evan Karagious) vs. The Misfits in Action (Lieutenant Loco, Corporal Cajun, and Sgt. Awol)

Sgt. Awol was the new MIA recruit formerly known as The Wall. If you need a refresher, Leuitanant Loco was Chavo Guerrero and Corporal Cajun was Lash Larox.

This match was awesome. Sure, it wasn't an all-time classic, but then not every match has to be. This was supposed to be a fun, undercard filler match, and to that it absolutely delivered.

Entertaining from first to last, this came to a head when Corporal Cajun caught Shane Helms coming off the top rope, hit him with a tiger bomb and won what was probably the best match each participant had been involved in up to that point in their career.
Your Winners: The Misfits in Action

Backstage, Jeff Jarrett and Scott Steiner refused to give a little kid an autograph. Kevin Nash considered it, but when the kid revealed he could only pay $1.50, Big Sexy also declined and suggested the kid buy a soda.

Get it, because they were DIRTY, NO GOOD BAD GUYS!

First Blood Chain Match Match
The Harris Brothers (Ron & Don Harris) vs. Kronik (Brian Adams and Bryan Clarke)

The Harris Brothers had returned to WCW at the previous month's New Blood Rising and attacked Kronik, leading to tonight's match.

The encounter was initially billed as a chain match, but when Kronik hit the ring, Brian Adams challenged Ron and Don to a first blood match and it was apparently accepted.

Don was then chained to Adams while Bryan Clarke was linked to Ron Harris for what turned out to be a slightly-better-than-expected hoss brawl.

Though nothing special happened, it was a wild and out of control that didn't suck half as much as anything involving The Harris Brothers usually did.

At one point, Ron Harris got busted open but the referee had taken a tumble.

When he came to, the first thing he saw was Brian Adams bleeding and thus the bell was called for.
Your Winners: The Harris Brothers

Post-match, Adams and Clarke saw off the twins and got their revenge on Billy Silverman by hitting him with High Times

Bringing the US Title Back Home

Backstage, Pamela Paulshock and her boobs interviewed General Rection about his US title match with Lance Storm.

Flanked by the rest of the Misfits in Action (sans Major Gunns), Rection vowed to beat Lance and bring both Gunns and the US title back home to the stages. He also dedicated the match to his "friend and mentor," Hacksaw Jim Duggan.

On cue, Duggan himself arrived on the scene and announced that The Cat had made him the special enforcer for the match. If you didn't watch this segment and immediately smell a Hacksaw heel turn brewing, you've clearly never watched pro wrestling.

World Championship Wrestling United States Canadian Champion Lance Storm (w/ Major Gunns) vs. General Rection

Special enforcer: Hacksaw Jim Duggan

If he could be serious for a moment, Lance Storm expressed his disbelief that everybody in the audience hadn't already packed up and moved to Canada, but was sure that they would do after he beat Rection on tonight's show.

Following the obligatory playing of the Canadian National Anthem, a trim-looking General Rection made his way out for what was surely the best match of his career.

Yes, I know I said the exact same thing about the other members of MIA earlier, but this really was a good match that proved the former Hugh Morrus was capable of being taken seriously, if not as a main eventer, then at least as a solid, mid-upper-mid star.

Or at least he could have been if he hadn't been named after a boner.

After a good match, Hacksaw predictably turned heel and levelled Rection with the 2x4. Lance applied the Canadian Mapleleaf and this one was over.
Your Winner and Still US Champion: Lance Storm

Afterwards, Duggan tore off his referee t-shirt to reveal a Canadian flag t-shirt underneath and proceeded to beat up the rest of Misfits in Action.

Rather than responding to Duggan's treachery with the loud chorus of boos he and the WCW Braintrust had been hoping for, the crowd merely looked on in silence.

This wasn't shocked, stunned "Brock just beat the streak" silence. This was more like "well, yeah, we saw that coming and it was kind of dumb and we don't want to react silence."

Seriously. This was Hacksaw Jim Duggan. At this stage of the game, nobody wanted to boo him.

Mean Gene is a Bad Ass

Out in the back, Mean Gene Okerlund interviewed Mike Sanders and The Natural Born Thrillers, and he wasn't taking any crap from them.

Okerlund called Sanders a 'prick' then told Palumbo and O'Haire to blow it out of their ass when they threatened to beat him up.

For his part, Sanders cut a compelling promo about how it was the young guy's time to shine, but really, it was Okerlund who was the star of the show here.

Outside the arena, The Natural Born Thrillers' opponents, The Filthy Animals, emerged from a limousine with a mystery partner, a big-looking dude with a towel over his head to hide his identity.

The crew, along with their other partner, Big Vio, made their way out to the entranceway, where they revealed that the big guy was none other than Mr Wonderful Paul Orndorff.

This wasn't as random as it might seem at first. Orndorff was the lead trainer at the WCW Power Plant and therefore had played a part in training The Natural Born Thrillers.

Plus, this was New York, were Orndorff had been a major star thanks to his rivalry with Hulk Hogan.

Seven vs. Seven Elimination Match
The Natural Born Thrillers (Mark Jindrak, Sean O'Haire, Chuck Palumbo, Reno, and Johnny The Bull, Mike Sanders, and Shawn Stasiak) vs. The Filthy Animals (Konnan, Rey Mysterio Jr., Juventud Guerrera, Disco Inferno, Big Vito, Paul Orndorff and Tygress)

For the most part, this was a really good match. Fast-paced and hard-hitting, the right decision was made to have The Natural Born Thrillers eliminate the majority of The Filthy Animals and look pretty dominant in the process.

Things then took a nasty turn when, with only he and Rey Mysterio Jr. left, Mr Wonderful made the hot tag.

Looking really old but also in tremendous shape, the legendary grappler took his proteges to school, avoiding almost all of their offence and kicking their asses all over the ring. He even got a three count on Johnny The Bull after landing his trademark piledriver to a huge ovation.

When he tried a second piledriver on Sean O'Haire, however, something went awry and Orndorff hurt himself, re-aggravating an old neck injury and lying motionless in the middle of the ring.

Improvising, Rey and Tygress took the fight to the Natural Born Thrillers as referees and EMTs rushed the ring to check on Orndorff. That led to Charles Robinson throwing the whole thing out.
No Contest

As he was stretchered out, the crowd gave Orndorff a respectful standing ovation. Up until his nasty injury, that had been a tremendous match.

Torrie Wilson is a Bitch

Backstage, Pamela Paulshock told Billy Kidman that he would be competing against one of the most dangerous match types ever, a Pittsburg Plunge Scaffold Match. She meant 'competing in,' of course, but there you go.

Offering a response, Kidman and his new ally, Madusa cut a largely terrible and cringe-inducing promo which mainly consisted of them both calling Torrie Wilson a bitch several times and Madusa promising to "demoralise" her.

Demoralise: To make someone lose hope or confidence.

Yeah Torrie, you better watch out. Madusa isn't going to physically hurt you, but she will damage your self-esteem.

Pittsburg Plunge Scaffold Match
Shane Douglas & Torrie Wilson vs. Billy Kidman & Madusa

Before the match, Shane Douglas took to the microphone to insist that it was actually Madusa who was the bitch. He then proceeded to outline the rules for us:

You win if you can reach your opponent's side of the raised platform and climb down a ladder.

Douglas was all bold and confident when he and Torrie were on the ground, but as soon as they got on the platform and it started to rise, he remembered he was a heel and started to act all scared and cowardly.

The match itself was about as good as every scaffold match you've ever seen, not very.

Madusa and Torrie almost immediately made it to their opposing sides, but instead of racing down the ladder to win the match, they both just kind of loitered around while Kidman and Douglas tried to have some kind of a wrestling match 20 ft in the air.

Eventually, Douglas knocked Madusa off the ladder and threw Kidman off the platform for the obligatory high spots, then allowed Torrie to climb down the ladder and win the match for their team.

This was not good.
Your Winners: Shane Douglas and Torrie Wilson

Out in the back, a fired-up Sting was looking forward to settling old scores with both The Great Muta and Vampiro in their upcoming triple threat match, but he was more looking forward to his guaranteed title shot on the following night's Nitro, and to once again having the world title around his waist.

Before he could finish speaking, The Icon was attacked by Jeff Jarrett, who wanted the title shot for himself and whom that potty-mouthed Gene Okerlund called a "bastard."

Mike Tenay Visits David Flair at Home

In a pre-recorded skit, Mike Tenay visited David Flair to ask him how his mental state was after it was revealed he wasn't the father of Stacy Kiebler's baby.

Tenay knocked on Flair's front door, gave him practically no time to answer, then knocked again, and again.

Finally, Flair appeared.

"Are you by yourself?" asked David.
"I'm all alone," lied Tenay, who clearly had a camera crew with him.

Once inside the house, it was revealed that Flair wasn't having a good time. His house was trashed, with newspapers strewn everywhere, discarded pizzas, beer bottles and lots of cigarette butts.

David himself was also a mess, sitting on the sofa in a state of numbness which was only broken by the occasional paranoid burst as he lept up to the window to look out for the real father of his baby.

Ignoring all of this, Mike Tenay decided it was more important to batter Flair with questions about who Kiebler's baby daddy might be rather than getting the young, deeply troubled man some help.

"Your father questioned my journalist integrity," Tenay told David.

Yeah? After this, I'm starting to question it too, Mike.

While all of this was largely awful, it did get funny at the end. David spotted the mailman and, like a dog on the attack, ran out and clotheslined the unsuspected man on the lawn before putting him in a figure-four.

I can't tell you why, but that last bit was hilarious.

Triple Threat Match
Vampiro (w/ The Insane Clown Possee) vs. The Great Muta vs. Sting

If you were ever going to watch a match on mute, this one would be it. Shaggy 2 Dope and Violent J sent Tony Schiavone and Scott Hudson packing so that they could do commentary with Mark Madden. The duo spent the entire match rambling on about nothing.

It was as bad as it sounds.

The match itself wasn't that bad, but it was incredibly predictable.

Vampiro and The Great Muta were technically still teammates in The Dark Carnival but had apparently been having some dissension as of late. They started the match working together, but the fact that they'd eventually turn on one another was obvious from the start.

When the predictable happened, Sting took the advantage, battering everyone in sight with his trusty baseball bat before hitting a Scorpion Death Drop to win the match.
Your Winner: Sting

Afterwards, Vampiro and the ICP tried to attack Muta, but his long-time nemesis Sting pulled him out of harm's way.

What you talkin' 'bout, Mike?


Out in the back, Mike Awesome stepped off a retro bus in a complete 1970s outfit. Apparently, adopting a retro 70s gimmick meant that the former ECW star was no longer only attracted to fat women.

Back at Bash at the Beach 2000, Awesome had dismissed Pamela Paulshock as being nowhere near as attractive as a large BBW he was talking to. Tonight, however, he appeared to have come to his senses and asked the beauty if she wanted to go and 'make whoopee' with him.

He wasn't the only one who had the hots for Paulshock. That 70s Guy hinted that he had a "huge surprise" - the joke being that the surprise was diminutive actor, Garry Coleman.

Comically, Awesome said that Diff'rent Strokes was his favourite TV show from the 70s, only for Coleman to remind him that the show had mostly aired in the 1980s. He too then confessed to having a thing for Paulshock before walking off, leading to this great line from Mark Madden:

"Pamela Paulshock's breasts are bigger than Garry Coleman's whole body."

Ladies and gentlemen, that's the first thing Madden ever said that was actually funny.

Bunkhouse Brawl
Jeff Jarrett vs. Mike Awesome

Remember that old-school gimmick when wrestlers competing in no DQ brawls would sell the seriousness of the occasion by wearing street clothes?

Jeff Jarrett did and came ready for combat in jeans and. Tennessee Titans shirt, the latter of which was mostly used to raise the ire of several Buffalo Bills football players sitting at ringside.

Further annoying them, Jarrett took to the microphone for the classic ‘insult the local sports team’ promo. This would have been fine and pretty effective if the veteran performer hadn’t rambled on for several minutes.

A quick dig at the sports team, sure, but a long, drawn-out promo? There was no need for it and by the end, the crowd looked more bored than angry.

Fortunately, the match itself was much better.

Nobody had given Mike Awesome the memo shout wearing street clothes, so he wrestles this captivating brawl in his regular wrestling attire.

After a very good match, this one turned into Jeff Jarrett vs. Everybody in the World.

The Buffalo Bills players surrounded the ring and pushed Jarrett about a bit. When their help proved not enough to keep Jarrett down, Garry Coleman ran out but got smashed over the head with a guitar bigger than he was.

Finally, Sting came out to get revenge for Jarrett’s earlier attack. He planted his rival with the Scorpion Death Drop which was enough for Awesome to get the cover, the count, and the fall.
Your Winner: Mike Awesome

Our pre-match video package for the next contest told us that Goldberg had beaten up Midajah and put her through a table, so Scott Steiner retaliated by kidnapping Goldberg’s girlfriend because apparently real men settle their differences by abusing women.

This led to a backstage promo in which Steiner ranted to Mean Gene about he was a ‘loaded sex pistol ready to explode’ and that yes, he would kick Bill’s head in tonight.

Scott Steiner (w/ Midajah & Vince Russo) vs. Goldberg

Steiner wore a protective mask after getting his face caved in with a lead pipe by Goldberg on Nitro.

To retaliate, Midajah and her new boob job came out halfway through the match brandishing a lead pipe for Steiner to use on Goldberg.

Later, Vince Russo also came out to attack Goldberg, but his chest didn’t look half as good as Midajah’s.

With the odds stacked so heavily against him, Goldberg naturally lost, getting knocked unconscious and being declared out of it when Scotty slapped on the Steiner Recliner.

Before that, this was a pretty decent, hard-hitting big man match.
Your Winner: Scott Steiner

Afterwards, Russo ripped his slap nuts T-shirt off and stood over Goldberg in a pose. Say what you want about him, that was pretty funny.

Once the heels left, the Buffalo Bills once again crossed the guard rail to help Goldberg up.

A commercial for the following month’s Halloween Havoc followed, promising us that Sting was going to change into something amazing and groundbreaking at the show.

I can’t remember anything about Halloween Havoc 2000, but I’m willing to bet this idea was dropped and Sting didn’t change into anything.

Don’t Hate the Player, Hate The Game

That video was followed by a second which showed us how Kevin Nash had turned heel on Booker T and stole the WCW Championship thanks to shenanigans from the evil special guest referee, Jeff Jarrett.

In a backstage interview with Mean Gene, an amped-up Booker T swore revenge and promised to reclaim the title.

He finishes the promo with his new catchphrase, don’t hate the player, hate the game. Presumedly, this was Booker’s way of sewing the seeds for a feud with Triple H years later.

World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship Cage Match
WCW World Heavyweight Champion Kevin Nash vs. Booker T

Though it wasn’t exactly bad, nothing about this match felt like it was anything special.

Even the added attraction of a steel cage added nothing, and instead felt unnecessary.

Coming across like the sort of thing you might see killing ten minutes on Nitro, this mediocre match ended when Booker hit the Book End to reclaim the gold.
Your Winner and NEW WCW World Heavyweight Champion: Booker T

And that, dear readers, was that.







Featuring several matches which ranged from decent to good, Fall Brawl 2000 was one of the best WCW shows of that year.

That’s not to say it was anything outstanding, but at this stage, not completely sucking was a huge achievement for World Championship Wrestling.

Though there was nothing that was must-see viewing, if you’re looking for a WCW 2000 show that isn’t completely awful, this is it.



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Thursday, 7 May 2020

Event Review: Saturday Night's Main Event 2 (1985)

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - Event logo
October 3, 1985 (aired October 5th)
Brendan Byrne Arena, East Rutherford, New Jersey

Following the success of the first Saturday Night's Main Event show five months earlier, the World Wrestling Federation returned to prime time television in October 1985 with a show that proved more than ever that Vince McMahon was always more interested in the entertainment aspect of his beloved sports entertainment.


Sure, tonight's show featured some wrestling, and we even sewed the seeds for the inevitable build to Wrestlemania 2, but for the most part, Saturday Night's Main Event 2 was focussed on a hillbilly wedding and George Steele hiding in a zoo.

Here's what went down:






Nikolai Volkoff Will Take the Title Back to the Soviet Union

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Nikolai Volkoff and Freddie Blassie
We began tonight's show with Mean Gene Okerlund interviewing Nikolai Volkoff and his manager, Classie Freddie Blassie.

Volkoff had a WWF Championship flag match against Hulk Hogan tonight so, naturally, he promised to win the title and take it back to his homeland.

Blassie warned us that Volkoff always meant what he said, which was supposed to be scary.

Offering a retort, his opponent, Hulk Hogan promised to stay true and defend the red, white, and blue tonight, because whatcha gonna do, when Hulkamania and the US of A run wild on you, brother?

Welcome to Saturday Night's Main Event

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - Jesse 'The Body' Ventura & Vince McMahon hosted the show
Our commentators for tonight's show were none other than Vince McMahon and Jesse 'The Body' Ventura. We got the usual opening words from them, but not before Mean Gene gave us another pre-recorded interview.

This one was with Uncle Elmer, who would get legitimately married later on in the show, and his best man, Hillbilly Jim. The two were excited for tonight, so naturally, that evil villain Rowdy Roddy Piper had to interrupt their promo and rain on their parade.

Ventura was equally as unimpressed with the wedding, telling Vince that all he cared about was the wrestling.

Please Rise and Respect the Singing of the Soviet National Anthem

Nobody rose, of course, and nobody respected it, but Nikolai Volkoff sang anyway after which Hogan told Mean Gene how infuriated he was with Volkoff carrying "our enemy's flag" to the ring.

With all of that out of the way, it was finally down to ringside for our opening contest.

Flag Match for the World Wrestling Federation Championship
WWF Champion Hulk Hogan vs. Nikolai Volkoff (w/ Freddie Blassie)

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - Hulk Hogan beat Nikolai Volkoff on the showThis was billed as a 'flag match,' but that didn't mean it was 'capture the flag' rules or anything like that. It was literally just a normal singles match which each man's flag propped up in the corner.

The match was a good effort by mid-1980s WWF standards, and that's what's important to remember here. Trying to watch these kinds of matches through the filter of modern pro wrestling is always going to make pretty much everything look crappy, so I'm trying not to do that as best I can.

Sure, there'll still be bad matches on these shows. Sometimes things just suck no matter how you look at it, but Hogan vs. Volkoff didn't.

It was a product of its time and it delighted the live audience. At one point, Hogan reversed a piledriver attempt with a simple back-body-drop, and the crowd exploded in a way that modern audiences don't when watching even the most intricate of high spots.

Predictably, Hogan put his opponent away after a few minutes of decent-for-the-time action.
Your Winner and still WWF Champion: Hulk Hogan

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - Hulk Hogan is interviewed by Mean Gene Okerlund
Afterward, Hogan tore up the Soviet flag and used it to shine his boots just to ensure that there was some element of the flags being involved in this loosely-defined 'flag match.'

As Hogan celebrated, Vince McMahon encouraged us to stay tuned from more of the best in "wrestling and romance." Somewhere in Japan, Genichiro Tenryu suddenly had an idea.

Whatcha Gonna Do, Brother?

If you were a Hulkamaniac, this was the show for you.

Cutting his third promo of the show (and we were only fifteen minutes in), The Hulkster was stoked about his big victory and delivered a basic "I told you so," message to Nikolai. Hogan was also excited about the upcoming wedding because "it prove[d] wrestlers can be nice people."

You tell 'em, Hulk.

Uncle Elmer Ain't Worried

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Uncle Elmer, Hillbilly Jim and Cousin Junior
Backstage, we saw Uncle Elmer's fiance, Joyce, getting ready for her wedding.

Out on the arena floor, Mean Gene asked Elmer himself whether he was more worried about his upcoming match with Gerry valiant or his impending nuptials.

Being a babyface and all, he wasn't worried about either, and when it came to the match, it would soon turn out he had no reason to be worried, either.

Uncle Elmer (w/ Hillbilly Jim & Cousin Junior) vs. Gerry Valiant

About six months after this, Uncle Elmer would compete in what was literally the worst professional wrestling match this writer has ever seen - an absolute farce of a performance against Adrian Adonis at Wrestlemania 2.

That was the bad match against which all other bad matches are judged on this blog. No matter how much a bout sucks, as long as it doesn't suck as much as Elmer/Adonis, that's fine with me.

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Uncle Elmer and Hillbilly Jim about Elmer's wedding
Anyway, Elmer didn't have the chance to suck tonight. As soon as the bell rang, Valiant ran at him, but got slammed and pinned in six seconds flat.

That was it.
Your Winner: Uncle Elmer

Post-match, Howard Finkle announced that the six-second victory was a new WWF record, beating out the previous record set by King Kong Bundy in his win over S.D Jones at the first Wrestlemania.

Mean Gene then interviewed Elmer, who chuckled at his own quip that Valiant shouldn't have bothered taking his jacket off if he wasn't planning on staying. Haha.

The Bounty is Set

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - Jesse Ventura interviews Bobby Heenan in the ring
On an in-ring edition of The Body Shop (think Piper's Pit but with dumbells on the floor instead of a tartan rug), Jesse Ventura welcomed his guest, Paul Orndorff's former manager, Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan.

Heenan declared that even though he had previously put a $25,000 bounty on the head of Mr. Wonderful, he was now upping that to $50,000 and would happily pay it to Roddy Piper if the Rowdy One could take out Orndorff in their upcoming match.

Out on the arena floor, the talking continued with Piper telling Mean Gene that he would gladly take out Orndorff, and would happily rip Heenan's head off if he refused to pay up.

Finally, we got some more wrestling.

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - Mean Gene interviews Roddy PiperMr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff vs. Rowdy Roddy Piper 

This was the best match out of both Saturday Night's Main Event shows so far, and it wasn't even much of a match. Instead, Orndorff beat Piper senseless around the ring and on the arena floor until the referee threw the whole thing out as a double count-out in under five minutes.

Though that result may have put a dampener on things for some people, it was such a spirited brawl with such a hot crowd that it proved very enjoyable indeed.
Double-Count.

Post-match, the two brawled all the way to the backstage area where Piper locked himself in a dressing room to escape the wrath of Mr. Wonderful.

Uncle Elmer Gets Married

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - Uncle Elmer and Joyce Stazko got married on the show
Despite being referred to as "Uncle Elmer" throughout the ceremony, this was apparently a legitimate wedding between Stan Frazier and Joyce Stazko. Unlike normal wrestling weddings that end in some kind of shenanigans, this one was relatively smooth except for the interruption of Roddy Piper.

Hot Rod had spent most of the show being very vocal about his disdain for these nuptials, so it was no surprise when he turned up during the whole "does anybody have any reason why these two should not be married?" deal. Piper had a reason, and that reason was that everybody stunk.

Wedding guest Hulk Hogan saw Piper off, leaving the rest of the ceremony to go unplanned.

As segments go, there's not much else to tell you about it other than the fact that Vince and Jesse talked over the whole thing and then repeatedly asked each other what was being said by the officiant. You know guys, if you just shut up and listen, you'd be able to hear it.

We're The Real Giants

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - King Kong Bundy, Big John Studd and Bobby Heenan interviewed by The Meanest Gene of Them All
After all that, we went to Mean Gene Okerlund who was standing by for an interview with Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan and his men, Big John Studd and King Kong Bundy.

The two wrestlers were mad about Andre The Giant calling himself a giant because, according to them, they were the real giants.

This was actually a fun 1980s heel promo in all its "We're very angry and shouty" glory.

Battle of the Giants
Big John Studd & King Kong Bundy vs. Andre The Giant & Tony Atlas

Here, the two teams attempted to set a new world record for the least amount of wrestling in a wrestling match. They would have set the record too if Tony Atlas hadn't jumped around a bit during his ninety seconds of ring time.

On either side of that, Andre basically walked back and forth around the ring with King Kong Bundy. It wasn't very interesting, but let's be honest, this was never going to be a classic.

After about four minutes, the lack of action came to an unspectacular finish with a disqualification win for the babyfaces.
Your Winners: Andre The Giant and Tony Atlas

The heels continued to attack the victors after the bell, prompting a Hulk Hogan To the Rescue run in.

George of the Jungle

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - George Steele does his elephant impression for Mean Gene
After a brief in-ring promo from Hogan in which he said nothing of note, we went to a pre-recorded clip in which Mean Gene Okerlund arrived at a zoo in a tiger-print jeep that even Joe Exotic would find embarrassing.

Okerlund's mission was to find George 'The Animal' Steele who, he told us, 'the whole world had been looking for.'

If you recall, Steele had been turned on by his partners Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff at the first Saturday Night's Main Event and ended up reconciling with Captain Lou Albano.

The reconciliation led to that Wrestlecap-worthy episode of Tuesday Night Titans where Lou tried to cure Steele of his mental difficulties by having him hypnotized by 'Dr. Sigmund Zif.'

IT even worked, temporarily, but an overload of the funky brain thing they stuck on Steele's head overloaded, causing The Animal to be crazier than ever. Since then, he'd been hiding out in this zoo pointing at camels, and Mean Gene had come to find him.

Nothing happened here. They walked around looking at animals. Gene said the name of them and then George said which WWF performer they reminded him of. (Hippo = King Kong Bundy, weasel = Heenan, obviously). It was relatively entertaining, sure, but nowhere near on the level of that insane Sigmund Zif angle.

World Wrestling Federation World Tag Team Championship
WWF Tag Team Champions The Dream Team Brutus Beefcake & Greg 'The Hammer' Valentine (w/ Johnny Valiant) vs. Lanny Poffo & Tony Garea

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - Mean Gene interviews The Dream Team (Brutus Beefcake, Greg Valentine and their manager, Johnny Valiant)
Before the match, we were reminded of the time the Dream Team stole a victory over the U.S Express. Mike Rotunda and Barry Windham would be out on the front row to watch this match, presumedly to size up Greg Valentine and Brutus Beefcake for an upcoming title match, but in a fun pre-match promo, the champs insisted that they didn't care one way or another.

They were the true champions and, to them, that was all that mattered.

The match itself was about as fun as a three-and-a-half-minute match could get in the 1980s, with Lanny Poffo and Tony Garea jumping about the place to make the champs look impressive.

Unfortunately, no amount of leaping for Lanny and his partner would help the challengers on this night. Valentine locked Garea in his patented figure-four, and that was all she wrote.
Your Winners and Still Tag Team Champions: the Dream team

Finally, we went to the wedding reception for Uncle Elmer which was an interesting experience to say the least.

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - Uncle Elmer and Joyce at their wedding reception
Still wearing his wrestling attire (seriously, imagine being at a wedding reception in your undies), Lanny Poffo read a poem dedicated to the happy couple before singer Tiny Tim randomly turned up and gave Elmer one of his famous ukeleles.

Next, Jesse Ventura decided that he was going to read a poem too though, naturally, his was all about how terrible an idea it was to mix wrestling and romance.

Never one to let anybody else have the spotlight for too long, Hulk Hogan was the focus for the final part of tonight's show. Still sitting at Uncle Elmer & Joyce's wedding reception, he told Vince McMahon that he accepted the challenge laid down by Bobby Heenan.

At the next Saturday Night's Main Event, he would team up with Andre The Giant to face King Kong Bundy and Big John Studd.

I wonder how that turned out.

Never one to let anyone else take the spotlight for too long, Hulk Hogan was the focus of the penultimate spot of Uncle Elmer's wedding reception. He told Vince McMahon that he accepted the challenge laid down by Bobby Heenan and at the next Saturday Night's Main Event, he would team with Andre The Giant to take on King Kong Bundy and Big John Studd.

Finally, Uncle Elmer and his beautiful bride Joyce had their first dance as the credits rolled, and Saturday Night's Main Event 2 came to an end.







If you're a wrestling purist only interested in five-star matches and lashings of #WORKRATE,  then you probably won't find much to enjoy by diving back to the second Saturday Night's Main Event special. 

Sure, the main event tag team title match was fun, but this wasn't really a wrestling show as much as it was a show about wrestlers. In particular, it was a show about a hillbilly wrestler getting married, with a B-story that would prove to set up Wrestlemania 2's main event.

By rescuing Andre The Giant and Tony Atlas from the clutches of Big John Studd and King Kong Bundy, Hulk Hogan would establish himself a rivalry with Bundy and the two would go onto to have a cage match at the aforementioned 'Mania.

If you're interested in checking out the review of that show, you can do so here. Otherwise, thanks for reading.




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Retro Pro Wrestling

New reviews of classic WWF/WWE events recalling every moment from Wrestlemania 1 - 30. You'll also find reviews of WCW, ECW, TNA and the occasional indie event, along with a look at old school magazines, merchandise and more.